Antony Zito | Women, Curated by Tony Mann – August 1st, 2018

Antony Zito  | On View One Night Only, Curated by Tony Mann
August 1, 2018, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM

Zito is one of my very favorite New York artists, partly because he thinks of himself as an artisan (he likes to make paintings on commission) and partly because he’s just a really fine and inventive painter.  I have two of his paintings, one is a portrait of Lee Marvin (from COFFEE AND CIGARETTES) and one of the Ethiopian master musician Mulatu Astatke (from BROKEN FLOWERS).  I value them greatly.  I hope for a few more in the future.  Hats off to Zito!”   –-Jim Jarmusch

New York and New England-based artist, Antony Zito—also known for his role in organizing the annual Governors Island Art Fair—will present a series of paintings and videos that celebrate women of power in a one-night pop-up exhibition at One Art Space in Tribeca. In a time when our society’s collective awareness of the abuse and marginalization of women has reached a peak, Zito draws our attention to the accomplishments and bravery of the women on the frontlines of the battle for social and economic justice. Among the notable portraits are those of Michelle Wolf, inspired by her speech at the annual Correspondents’ Dinner; Nina Turner, a representative from the state of Ohio; and teen gun-control activist, Emma Gonzalez.


“Women have played important roles throughout my life. From my mother to a university professor, from my business partner to my closest friend, women of all races and ages have guided and inspired me,” said Zito. “In 2018, the sitting President of the United States is an open racist and misogynist, whose actions exemplify some of the worst kinds of abuse and hatred toward non-whites and women.  This administration openly engages in scapegoating, thriving on the conflict and chaos that ensues when citizens are pitted against one another. This exhibition stands in opposition, highlighting the strength and power of so many women, whom I greatly admire.”

Many in this series of paintings were created in response to the “Me Too” and “Times Up” movements. Some of the paintings, like that of the portrait of Emma Gonzalez, are done on a cardboard, emphasizing Zito’s interest in working with found and humble materials.  A series of time-lapse videos depict Zito’s process of making and will be projected on the rear wall of the gallery. The exhibition, which will feature approximately 40 works, highlight a range of women, from celebrities and newly minted icons to friends and everyday people.  Together, they showcase the power of the people and the change that can be achieved when we fight for our ideals.
“At this stage of human development, our species should be light years ahead of the hatred, marginalization, and violence towards women, so often manifested in sexual abuse. We have achieved so much, and yet still harbor so much hate for those who appear different from us. Our current patriarchal structure inherently places all non-male gender orientations in positions of inferiority, resulting in an untenable caste system.

As a man, it’s sometimes hard to see past my own face, to consider others and to take the time to listen to what they have to say about the way they feel. But it’s been the women in my life who have helped me to see these things more clearly, to learn and grow from my mistakes, and to spend my life working to become a better person. Now is the time to honor women, to level the playing field in every way possible, to step down from our patriarchal pedestals, and to make reparations,” Zito added.


Portrait painter Antony Zito is a long-time resident of New York’s art barrio, the Lower East Side, and was an active participant in the Mars Bar and CBGB on the Bowery. His portrait paintings are shown and collected throughout the US, Europe, and Japan, as well as featured in two Jim Jarmusch films; “Coffee and Cigarettes” and “Broken Flowers”. Zito Studio Gallery on Ludlow Street was his mainstay in the LES for exhibitions, live painting, and absurdity, up until 2006. A few years later he would tell his story of the Mars Bar and Lower East Side for The Moth at the Metropolitan Museum. Michael Musto has called him “a genius”, The NY Post has referred his paintings as “sensual”, and his works on materials he collects from the streets of the East Village caused The Village Voice to dub him “a master of the found object”. After a whirlwind live-painting tour of Spain with Art Battle, Zito left NYC to move into the stone farmhouse his father built in Connecticut. But after 20 years he found half his heart was still in New York, a place he still haunts weekly. Zito is a founding member of 4heads, the NYC non-profit arts group that runs Governors Island Art Fair – the large-scale, annual exhibition of independent art in New York Harbor. Zito spends his time painting portraits and murals and is currently working on a documentary film about the Mars Bar.