“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”
about the artist
"My painting style was greatly influenced by my refugee experience as a child. After fleeing Lebanon during the civil war I stopped using camouflage colors on my model airplanes. Instead, I began to experiment with bold and bright colors expressing my anti war sentiment."
Feature in NYNJ.com
“Everyone discuses my art
and pretends to understand,
as if it were necessary to
understand, when it is
simply necessary to love.”
Tony Seker is a multicultural artist, originally from Beirut, Lebanon. His abstract painting style largely stems from his childhood refugee experience. After fleeing the Lebanese Civil War in 1975 he abruptly dispensed with the camouflage colors used on his model warplanes and, in protest, began to apply bold & colorful paint. In retrospect, the familiar medium became a comfortable way to express his despair and anti-war sentiment. Today his art continues to express aspects of his past with the consciousness of the present and the hope for a more peaceful future.
"I approach painting similar to the way a writer records their thoughts in a journal. The “action” behind my abstract methods truly reflects my personality and emotions, leaving behind a story but without any words. Action painting involves non-traditional techniques, such as etching, scraping, splattering and moving paint instead of the traditional use of a brush. My creative process often begins by staring at an empty canvas and harnessing my energy and sentiments. This elevates particular colors, movements, shapes and tools into my consciousness. In some cases, that dance with the surface is playful (for example like Clint Eastwood staring down a gunslinger in a Spaghetti western) and at other times it is emotionally charged (like thinking of someone who is suffering or remembering someone who has passed). In all of my works there are both elements of randomness and design. These aspects parallel key truths in our lives, such as the randomness of where we are born, who are our role models, religion, socioeconomic status, the quality of education, healthcare, war, peace and so on.
While there may be elements of my work which invoke comparisons in style to well known artists such as Gerhard Richter or Jackson Pollock, my most impactful influences actually came from outside of the art world. Most notably, the random and over-exaggerated movements of my favorite physical comedians/performers (such as Peter Sellers, Bruce Lee & Victor Borge) inspired my “action” techniques."
Seker created the playful moniker “Claxon du Soleil” for his art, which loosely translated from French means 'blast from the sun.' This idea came to him while recalling one of the infamous achievements of Lebanon in The Guinness Book of World Records: ‘the greatest frequency of street honks (horns) per minute per square mile.’ In coming full circle, Tony feels that “Claxon du Soleil" captures both his essence and style while also acknowledging the origin of his artistic expression. His paintings are a loud and colorful blast of expression or joie de vivre, a sprinkling of humor, and above all, a tapestry illustrating how we are all truly connected, yet randomly separated.
Seker was selected from over 1,000 artists to be included in the 2020 Fall edition of the prestigious Studio Visit Magazine (received by over 2,000 galleries, museum curators and art aficionados). He has also appeared in 300 Magazine, Artmosphere (Spain, twice), Il Circolo (Italy), Fine Art Shippers and others. Seker is represented by invitation at Laguna Arts Gallery (Laguna Beach, CA), Parcus Gallery (Austria), Galerie Sonia Monti (Paris, France), Art Scoops (Beirut, Lebanon), Creative Inks (Saudi Arabia), Circle Arts (Lyon, France) and Singulart (Paris, France). He is also listed by multiple galleries on the exclusive Artsy platform.
Recently Seker was selected for an artist residency in the Maldives where he will reside for one month. He will create paintings inspired by his visit and have two solo exhibitions there. Afterwards he will be represented at global art events by Art Gallery Male' (Maldives).
Seker has won multiple juried awards, including "Artist Choice Award" as voted by 52 tri-state artists in NY, NJ and CT for EYE OF THE TIGER, Best In Show for VITESSE, KARMA & BAZOOKA JOE. His mixed media piece "Gabbana Fever" was selected by HobokenArts Gallery in 2020 for a juried online exhibition to benefit local businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2018, Seker was the lead artist for Fort Lee Fashion Week where he led a team of artists to produce a 40 x 10 foot street-art style mural for the backdrop to the catwalk. He has been the VP of the Fort Lee Artist Guild since 2017 and is actively involved in the local arts scene including with the new Barrymore Film Center.
Seker has donated works for multiple charities, including the TOA Awards (Washington DC) and Broadway Sings For Pride (New York City).
Seker has exhibited at numerous venues including in SOHO, Hoboken, Brooklyn, Santa Fe NM & Cedar City UT. His collectors span the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.
INTERVIEW WITH BOLD MODERN, December 2021