Month: November 2014

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Before Fierce: Remembering Fashion Illustrator Tony Viramontes

— words by Ashlee Girdner An Amazonian woman draped in exotic materials stands before him trying to change her pose as rapidly as the young artist finishes another drawing. His vibrant eyes move over the model capturing more than the newest fashion in which she is adorned; he is able to put on the page a bold and palpable as well. When Viramontes worked, he did so in a fervor. Frank Anthony Viramontes was born in Santa Monica, California to first generation Mexican parents. Having an artistic inclination at a young age, Tony drew everything from cheerleaders to matadors, finding himself enamored by their bright garments. His supportive parents would bring young Tony along to bullfights in nearby Tijuana where he developed an intense appreciation for elegant yet brash masculinity. The way in which Tony would illustrate throughout his career was reminiscent of the toreador’s movements that he studied as a boy. Seizing the aggressive and energetic styles of the 1980’s came naturally to him. With the slashing stroke of his charcoal pencil, he was …