Anthony Ricciardi is a Toronto-based artist known for his unique use of colour and polychromatic mixing, despite being completely colour blind. His uncle was an artist and his primary inspiration, encouraging him to explore his love for art at a young age.
A week before his wedding, he decided to quit his job at a top real estate investment fund earlier this year and pursue a full-time career as an artist. Today, Anthony’s large-scale canvas’s, murals and 3D installations can be found in celebrities homes and all around the world.
Starting October 13th, Anthony will be hosting a pop-up gallery at Yorkdale Shopping Centre titled “Less Isn’t More”. To welcome him to Yorkdale, we have asked Anthony a few questions to learn more about the artist and his work.
What would you say is the biggest inspiration behind your work?
My biggest inspiration is the ability to do what I truly love daily. Each day I create what I see, feel and experience, then bring it to life through my artwork. My late Uncle Fab (who was an artist himself) was my inspiration to begin painting and his work continues to inspire me daily.
How do you determine the direction that each painting will take?
Due to being colour-blind, my painting process typically works in multiple layers. The first 3 layers of each painting are abstract blends of colour in which I wait for each layer of colour to dry (to avoid blending and mixing) and then I carve into the layers to create depth. The imagery I select to represent the foreground of the painting are based around pursuing our dreams and following our heart. Believing we can do anything in life, and then executing it on canvas or framed work.
What do you hope people experience when looking at your art?
My true vision is that people will be inspired to follow their hearts and pursue what makes them most happy. I put a lot of passion into my work and try to use mixed media pop culture icons to relay a message of dedication and hard work.
What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as an artist?
The biggest challenges came before I made the decision to pursue art as my full-time career. Graduating with a finance degree and entering that career path post graduation, provided the stability and upward trajectory that I had been working towards. The balance of working my full-time finance job (which needed my 100% attention) on top of painting and creating was very difficult to manage. That is when I had to ask myself what I wanted to do daily for the rest of my life, and I am extremely grateful that my family and friends supported me when I choose art.
Do you have a favourite artist? If so, who and why?
This is an extremely tough question for me! I have many favourite artists who include, Basquait, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Kaws and Daniel Arsham, but my overall favourite artist is Julian Schnabel. I believe his body of work and use of everyday items and imagery truly inspire me most. Also, the Schnabel exhibit at the AGO years ago was the last show I visited with my Uncle Fab and I can remember him and I sitting in front of one of Schnabels large scale paintings and me looking at him saying “I can do this”, for me that was one of the first times internally I told myself art is attainable.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring artists, what would it be?
Execute, execute, execute, truly everything I have been able to do through art, finance, baseball, life, has been completed with extreme dedication and persistence. I believe that a painting is never truly finished until I have given it every single ounce of what I have. Lastly, we must create on a daily basis, it comes back to constant execution and putting work in the world. Never be afraid of showing your art work, art isn’t for everyone and if your pieces move or make even ONE person feel inspired, then it is a successful piece of art.