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_tf-enjoy___01 _tf-beautiful_day___01 _tf-untitled_rings___00-1 Tfeherultrafuchsia2005 Feherindianapolis2007 Tfeheraspen2007 4_image Feher Tony
'rak'rüm (noun);
the back room of an art gallery
where artists and art lovers hang
, Tony FeherTony Feher
Beautiful Day, Tony FeherTony Feher, Beautiful Day, 2001
Untitled (Rings), Tony FeherTony Feher, Untitled (Rings), 2000
Ultra Fuchsia, Tony FeherTony Feher, Ultra Fuchsia, 2005
Indianapolis, Tony FeherTony Feher, Indianapolis, 2007
Aspen, Tony FeherTony Feher, Aspen, 2007
, Tony FeherTony Feher
© Courtesy of the artist and D'Amelio Terras, New York
Same (detail), Tony FeherTony Feher, Same (detail),
2008, accumulated material to be spread evenly on a painted surface, 48 x 96 x 2" overall
© courtesy of the Artist and Anthony Meier Fine Arts
Four Drawn Conclusions, Tony FeherTony Feher, Four Drawn Conclusions,
2004, various plastic and metal strapping and parts , dimensions vary with installation
© Courtesy of Artist and D'Amelio Terras
Blossom, Tony FeherTony Feher, Blossom,
2008, Extruded polystyrene, 4 x 8 x 2 feet
© Courtesy the artist and ACME, LA
Untitled, Tony FeherTony Feher, Untitled,
2009, 19 x 17 x 12 inches
© Courtesy of the Artist and ACME
Untitled (Tube), detail, Tony FeherTony Feher, Untitled (Tube), detail,
2010, clear vinyl tubing, distilled water, blue food color and binder clips, installation dimensions variable
© © Tony Feher, courtesy The Pace Gallery
GMP, Tony FeherTony Feher, GMP,
2012 , Glass, galvanized steel wire and chrome-plated steel chain, Dimensions vary with installation
© Courtesy of the Artist and Anthony Meier Fine Arts
GMP, Tony FeherTony Feher, GMP,
2012. Detail view , Glass, galvanized steel wire and chrome-plated steel chain, Dimensions vary with installation
© Courtesy of the Artist and Anthony Meier Fine Arts
Grand Ma\'s Pussy, Tony FeherTony Feher, Grand Ma's Pussy,
2013 (studio view), glass, galvanized steel wire, and chrome-plated steel chain, dimensions variable
© Courtesy of the Artist and ACME
Installation view, Tony FeherTony Feher, Installation view,
2013 , glass, galvanized steel wire, and zinc chain, dimensions variable
© Courtesy of the Artist and ACME
Installation view, Tony FeherTony Feher, Installation view,
2013 , glass, galvanized steel wire, and zinc chain, dimensions variable
© Courtesy of the Artist and ACME
Come Out and Play Stephen Jay [detail], Tony FeherTony Feher,
Come Out and Play Stephen Jay [detail],
2013, Painter's tape Site-specific installation, dimensions variable
© Courtesy of the artist & The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Blue Bottles 3, Tony FeherTony Feher, Blue Bottles 3
© Courtesy of the artist & The Bronx Museum of the Arts
, Tony FeherTony Feher
© Courtesy of the artist & The Akron Art Museum
Je Respire (avec Duchamp), Tony FeherTony Feher, Je Respire (avec Duchamp),
2016, vinyl flagging tape, dimensions variable
© Courtesy of the Artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
Since the 1990's, Tony Feher has shown widely in the US and elsewhere.  His work combines a sense of effortless style and beguiling wit.  Light, minimal, colorful and playful, his installations exhibit profound depth and cause one to stop for a small laugh, a moment of reflection, or a deep sigh. solo exhibitions   1993 Tony Feher: Sculpture, Wooster Gardens, New York, September 11–October 9,1993. 19...[more]

Interview with Tony Feher

ArtSlant:  Where did you spend your childhood, and how has that affected your work?

Tony Feher:  An interesting thing about my early years, it was military, we moved around a lot, up and down the coast.  At one point we lived on an air base outside of Jacksonville which was practically a nature refuge. We lived at the end of the block where all the junior officers lived in the cookie cutter houses. It was an idyllic, Mayberry kind of small town.

We had acres of nature around us and everyday a turtle or a snake or a frog - something with a tail on it - would come around. Us kids ran around like wild monkeys. My mother was very much a country lover.  She grew up in nature. She instilled a love of this in me.  The point being is that I did have a very raw exposure to the natural world.

There is something about constantly moving every year. You have to leave all of your stuff behind, everything that is familiar, even your friends.  For me, it was normal. But I have turned into someone who saves everything; I save every coffee cup because I have a personal relationship with it.
That is where this eye comes from in seeing the potential in everything.
AS:  You have strong relationships with objects.  Can you tell me more about that?

TF:  It's a very obsessive compulsive relationship.  I have seen news clips on this, where they go into a cluttered apartment in Manhattan and they are appalled at all the stuff someone has collected and cannot get rid of, like the old bagel on the floor that is 5 years old.  I see this and I think it's gorgeous! The color and the shape of the bagel, the texture...and I think, I have a bagel just like that!!!
AS:  You create sculptures and installations out of everyday objects.  What objects are you most intrigued by and why?

TF:  People say I am an heir in the line of working with the "found object."  The term, found object, is loaded with specific information.  It makes one think of Duchamp.  It's almost too much information.  I shy away from things that come with too much baggage.  In the way that other artists use that info, I am looking for anonymity.  The found objects I use have less personality, or I can render the anonymity from it.
When you peel the label off a plastic water bottle, you don't have the trapping of uniform or class that distinguishes it from others.  You are rendered to this anonymous generic bottle.  Some bottles are too loaded for me, ones that have an identity with the label off. It's more that I am taking advantage of a thing that was there, and how it feels and what it does with light and condensation. That is what catches my eye, like a sparkly chip of glass on the street.  This to me is a "found object".  There is a Bowerbird that picks up shiny objects in order to seduce or attract a female.  If they are anywhere near human encampment, they end up picking up shiny pieces of glass, and they are particularly attracted to blue.

Even the term "everyday object" sounds like a predetermined thing.  It qualifies it.  It's really the "common thing" that is lying around.  I am as an artist not interested in recycling, that is not my agenda.  That is a front loaded agenda.
I prefer to strip something down, naked, bare and raw, where you then expose its potential, and then it becomes itself.  Well what is it? It's a work of art.  A work of art does not need clarification.
It's like poetry as opposed to fiction. You cannot define poetry but you can endlessly interpret it.  My work is not about defining; it's hopefully setting up a situation of interpreting endlessly.  No one person needs to justify his or her existence...we are here, that is enough.
AS:  What is your earliest memory of art making?

TF:  My mother was a remarkable person on so many fronts.I was in first grade, before I moved towns again. She took me to an art class in Jacksonville, Florida, where I got dropped off for a few hours on a Saturday. We made mobiles with hangers and tissue paper.  Calder was the American household artist at that time.  I never ever forgot that class.They say that everything you need to know in life you learned in kindergarten. I always liked hobby classes.  I always made stuff.  When I was older, I made a decision after school that I was an artist.  But that more explained why I didn't fit in the world.  That is just what made sense to me.  After I got past a period of trying to make art, I finally had to stop and just let the chips fall.  The coat hangers and tissue paper, there we go.  It is that simple.
In high school I had an art class.  We were sitting around drawing the still life on the table.   There was ivy, a Matuse Rose bottle, a shell - and the teacher walked around the class, stopped at me and said, "Mr. Feher, your drawing is wrong".

My drawing is still wrong.  But you are talking to me.  Predetermined notions of talent and ability can be confused with a unique point of view.
AS:  We are interested in hearing about where you make your work (describe your studio).

TF:  When I moved to NY, I didn't have any money, like everyone else. I have been in the same apartment in the East Village for 23 years.  When I first moved there, I basically abandoned the notion of having an apartment.  I didn't have a table or chair because it took up too much space.  I gave up the idea of cooking.  I fry or boil things.  I live in what looks like a landfill basically.  I'd make art, and then pack it up and put it away.  Soon you could hardly walk in the place.  After time, somewhere in the 90's, Simon Watson had access to a building on Greene Street.  He offered me the second floor as a studio for 6 months with a caveat that he could bring collectors for tours.  He came up to visit and I had installed the entire floor.  I finally found a huge 2500 square-foot studio in the Bronx. I had 4 truckloads of things moved out of my apartment.

AS:  Are you cooking now?

TF:  No!  But I went totally bourgeois and I bought myself a sofa.  I needed something less torturous than the hard chair I had for 25 years.  And now my apartment is filling up again.  Life is not a philosophic is an activity.  You can think about art or you can make art.  You can think about life or live life.  As a young artist you just want to get your work out there, then it all comes back.

ArtSlant would like to thank Tony Feher for his assistance in making this interview possible.

--ArtSlant Team


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