Born in Lebanon, lived and worked in Beirut and in Florida. Started classical drawing and painting at an early age. He obtained his Bachelor in Architecture from the Lebanese American University and his Master of Science degree from the University of Florida. Published in conjunction with Mr. Nadim Shabshab “The Cyclopean Proportioning System”. He is currently preparing for an art exhibition in Manhattan, New York, in conjunction with other Lebanese artists. His work is geared towards surrealism, abstract and Mural work. He works in oils as well as other mixed media.
LR: Hi Tony
TF: Hi Maroun
LR: You know, I always ask about the artist’s favorite color. It has always seemed to me that some colors take priority in most artworks. So what’s your favorite color?
TF: I do not really have a favorite color. At my work, I try to make colors work together.
LR: Before you became a member of lebrecord.com, I contacted you to showcase some of your work on the website, and afterwards you became part of the team that made it happen. What are your impressions on this matter?
TF: It is very important to publish the artworks of Lebanese artists on the web. Artists want their work to be disseminated and publicized, and others are looking for disseminated works.
LR: A couple of months ago, I saw an exhibit for the Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, at the Guggenheim museum in New York. Her artworks and paintings seemed to occupy a huge space in her life work. It seems that a lot of architects are drawn naturally to the artistic process. You yourself (and me include), come from an architectural background. What do you think about the relationship between the two?
TF: Art is one of the major components of architecture. I think that the architectural work has three important factors: Art, History, & Design. If you have two of the three, then you can become an architect. Art is something that you are primarily born with, yet you need to bring it out. Yet, not all architects are artists, though many of them engage into art. I also believe that the artworks produced by architects often pass several stages of thinking, just like we do when we design a building. It has more thinking in it, I think.
LR: You have of late completed a painting entitled “The Phoenix Shall Rise”. Tell us a little about it.
TF: As I see it, artworks should tell stories. I wanted to narrate the legend of the Phoenix through this specific painting. The painting represents the rebirth of Lebanon through the Phoenix rising from destroyed Beirut. It is the tale of Lebanon’s sorrowful history with the surrounding nations, and the will of its people to resurrect. At the bottom right side, the figures show a sequence of historic assaults against Lebanon with the Israeli war of July 2006 in the front. Behind it, a figure of Beirut falling to Syrian occupation in 1990. Further back, is the Israeli invasion of 1982. Then the Palestinian guerrillas’ control of Beirut in 1980 and so on back in history. At the bottom-left side, figures show the revolutions and acts of resistance against the occupiers. A woman holding a dead child and a kid weeping over his dead mother brief the will of the Lebanese civilians against the Israeli attacks of 2006. Behind it, the Cedar Revolution of 2005 that drove the Syrian army out of Lebanon, then acts from the peaceful resistance against the Syrian occupation since 1990, and the figures continue back in history marking some historic scenes from Lebanon’s revolutions. The series of Lebanese revolutions are marked with a series of Phoenixes rising above the scenes, while the ones showing the occupation are marked by fire, dark smoke and ruins. Above the Phoenix, the stars show the Phoenix constellation that tells the story of the Phoenix’s resurrection.
LR: Your paintings in general seem to have a surreal character. How do you describe your artistic style?
TF: My paintings are mainly of Surrealistic, Abstract and Impressionist styles.
LR: You have a series of extremely interesting and complex drawings. How do you describe the work involved in these drawings?
TF: Most of my ink on paper drawings are abstract. Mostly one general idea has generated each piece. People have rather interesting ideas and explanations for them as they can see more in them. I think, people bring more out of the drawing as they involve their own thinking in the process.
LR: Any last words?
TF: I remember a friend asking me about modern art, a couple years ago. And I remember saying that artwork has been done in the same way for hundreds and thousands of years. We do not need to change that, but rather we should change the way we look at things. People should not just say ‘It is pretty’, ‘I like it’ or ‘I hate it’. People should tell stories about it, or read something in it.
LR: Thanks Tony.
TF: Thank you Maroun, Lebrecord and all.
Tony’s address on the web is: www.tonysky.net/tony
You can contact Tony at: tonysky[[at]]gmail[[dot]]com