Tony Curanaj (b. 1973) was born and raised in New York. He is a young, dynamic, multi-talented painter who studied at the School of Visual Arts, The National Academy of Design and the acclaimed Water Street Atelier. Curanaj’s style is illustrative, stemming from his multifarious involvement in a myriad of artistic endeavors. Although his focus was always on classical painting, Tony did start his fine art career as an innovator and a legendary influence in the worldwide graffiti scene (known as “SUB”), and a founder of the esteemed “D.F.” crew.
His reputation for executing work of the highest quality landed him at Disney as a head designer and painter before his decision to concentrate solely on his love for representational realism. In the late l990’s, Curanaj met Jacob Collins and became a member of The Water Street Atelier, an institution founded on the ideals of academic realism, where his studies and skills flourished.
The subjects he chooses to depict are classic, edgy and masterfully executed with painstaking care. His paintings are beautifully designed with brush strokes that are concise and controlled. His colors emotive, intelligent and captivating lending results that are stunning to behold.
Curanaj currently teaches painting and drawing at The Grand Central Academy in New York City as well as privately from his studio, also in New York.
My progression as an artist to contemporary realism evolved with my perception of the world and our human experiences in it. I began to sublimate my creative expression toward work of greater skill, precision in execution and clarity in thought. The subject matter of my still life, tromp l’ oeil and figures represent the complexity of an individual’s observation as well as a love and respect for nature and life. Some paintings are a visual play on words or ideas that are part of my experiences.
Other pieces reflect the simple beauty I may find in seemingly ordinary objects composed together, influences of color in nature or the splendor of the human form. In every piece that I create, I aspire for authenticity in subject, harmony of color and resonance of light and shadow. By painting from life and with meticulous detail, my hopes are that the viewer will observe my work as I observe life, with the impact and integrity of the large idea supported by the importance and intricacy of the smallest nuance.