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Tony Dagradi
Breathe Easy

2023

About the Item

TONY DAGRADI is an internationally recognized jazz performer, artist, composer, author, and educator. For over three decades he has made his home in New Orleans, performing on tenor and soprano saxophone with many of the Crescent City’s celebrated artists. He is most well-known for his work with Astral Project, an adventurous quartet of top New Orleans players dedicated to playing cutting-edge improvisational music. His performing past also includes five years as a member of the internationally acclaimed Carla Bley and appearances and recordings with Bobby McFerrin, Mose Allison, and Nat Adderley. Since 2015, Tony has been exploring the visual possibilities of altered books. Choosing vintage and antiquarian texts, he carefully cuts through one page at a time utilizing existing images to create a three-dimensional collage or sculpture. The results allow the contents and imagery of long outdated material to be viewed in a manner that is both exciting and thought-provoking. The artist says of his artwork... My decades-long career in contemporary jazz directly informs my work as a visual artist. For me, music has always had a visual component, with the diverse elements of music suggesting colors, shapes and textures. The juxtaposition of abstract shapes, which come together as I work on a book, is very much how I perceive the interplay of melody, harmony, and rhythm. I also feel very strongly that the mathematics and spirituality of music intersect all art forms. My process in creating sculptural effects with books is continually evolving. When I first began, I sealed the edges of each book and cut through one page at a time, making choices on the fly as to what images I chose to keep. As my technical skills progressed and I gained more confidence and experience, I found this to be a somewhat limiting approach. I wanted more flexibility. In my current preferred method, I harvest the images I am most interested in then add them back one at a time as the composition emerges. I still cut away one page at a time, and always work from front to back. In this way, I have greater control over the placement of each object as well as the direction of the entire composition. I enjoy working with many types of books; graphic novels, atlases, scientific texts, technical manuals, etc. Each represents a different and unique challenge. I especially relish working with vintage books and encyclopedias. The eclectic photos and illustrations often represent material that is long out of date yet offer a fascinating window into our past. At the same time, the quality and condition of the paper itself often extend their own unique challenge. Ultimately, I hope to provide a perspective on the transitory nature of what earlier generations understood to be factual and offer insight into the way ever-evolving media has shaped contemporary perspectives.

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21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Figurative Sculptures

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TONY DAGRADI is an internationally recognized jazz performer, artist, composer, author, and educator. For over three decades he has made his home in New Orleans, performing on tenor ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Figurative Sculptures

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Located in New Orleans, LA
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Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Figurative Sculptures

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Located in New Orleans, LA
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21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Figurative Sculptures

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By Tony Dagradi
Located in New Orleans, LA
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Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Figurative Sculptures

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