Brooklyn-based artist Tony Toscani paints abstract figures in works thick with feelings of anxiety and exhaustion.
Toscani’s characters are swollen—their limbs are inflated, appearing almost buoyant. Their heads seem minuscule in comparison to their mammoth bodies, their eyes downcast and averted—never making contact with the audience. These portraits of everyday life are imbued with a millennial lethargy: Life has moved too quickly, we should be so connected, so evolved, so advanced—instead, we’re lonelier and more tired than ever before. In Toscani’s paintings, characters appear prostrate, languishing their lives away in contemplation over coffee, or infinitely scrolling on Instagram. In a recent interview, he commented on his fascination with this weariness, there is, he remarked, “a beauty to our languor, it is an emotion that makes us uniquely human.” Indeed, his work feels strangely familiar despite the odd proportions of his abstract characters; it is a study of a generation fatigued by the pace of their world, and the opportunities it continues to offer them.
All images © Tony Toscani