Meditative Large-Scale Performance Drawings By Tony Orrico

Penwald Drawings
Tony Orrico

American conceptual artist Tony Orrico creates large-scale drawings through live performances, using his own body as a physical tool for illustration.

Orrico’s interest in performance and the human form stems from his background and earlier career in dance choreography. His live-drawings can last anywhere between 15 minutes to seven hours, and use either the movement of just his hand and wrist, or his entire body. ‘Penwald Drawings’ is a series of graphite on paper illustrations, that were created with precise, choreographic gestures that are appealing to watch. Addressing Orrico’s performances, the Wall Street Journal critic Robert Greskovic described Orrico as “Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man in contemporary, casual clothing, seen from the back, extending his arms in the act of conjuring a vaporous circle out of continuously scrawling black lines.” Watching the performance of these drawings very slowly take shape is mesmerizing. “I commit my attention, rationally, to the sensitivity of my body at the receptive level”, the artist explains, where “the course is non-objective; it is a continuation of pathway and response to stimuli.” Orrico’s work is a keen example that art is as much about the creative process as it is about the final, visual result.


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All images and video © Tony Orrico