Tony Armendariz was born and raised in Chicago in a graphic arts family. Upon graduating from Lane Technical High School he attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago where he had the privilege to study watercolor under renowned instructor Irving Shapiro.
Upon receiving his AA in Graphic Art, he continued developing his skills working as an illustrator, graphic artist and web designer in a variety of industries including advertising and manufacturing.
Aside from his many travels throughout the US, Tony has developed themes featuring subject matter he found in Europe and Cuba. These countries make their presence known heavily in his paintings. When describing his themes and subject matter he says: "Sometimes you see the stories you’re looking for when you're not looking at all, be it people or buildings. The creative switch is always on."
Tony paints exclusively withwatercolor in the pure transparent tradition. He currently belongs to many artistic organizations across the country, including the Illinois Watercolor Society of which he serves as their Executive Director.
My paintings are portraits of timeworn structures and objects in the urban landscape. Through a representational style, my intent is that the structures convey a variety of stories told over years of use and abuse. By placing the viewer up close into the immediate space of the subject, I prompt them to establish a personal connection to these stories.
Through the use of high contrasts, intense sunlight, and desolate settings, a pensive mood is evoked in the work. Some of the subjects’ stories are quiet and simple, and yet some are dramatic and profound. The aging man-made structures I depict are often decaying, but my goal is to present them with dignity.