Picturing The Dark Side


Glenn McNatt, Baltimore Sun

After seeing Violence and Tranquility, Tony Shore's unexpectedly dark vision of his hometown at C. Grimaldis Gallery, I couldn't help thinking the prize-winning Baltimore painter has been watching The Wire, HBO's award-winning dark drama about crime and corruption in Baltimore. READ MORE

Bringing it all back home

Tony Shore’s black velvet paintings render down-to-earth, working-class Baltimore as high art

Michael Anf, Baltimore Magazine

In a windowless space inside the old Crown Cork and Seal complex in Highlandtown, Tony Shore works amid a post-industrial landscape—a labyrinth of hulking brick buildings. Amid walls shedding decades-old paint, he’s feverishly creating new work for a show at C. Grimaldis Gallery and living off a diet fit for a portly middle schooler which, even as an adult, he resembles. Diet Pepsi, peanut butter, and lunch meat—caloric and caffeinated fuel for a working-class hero. READ MORE


velvet touch

Allison Klein, Baltimore Sun

On South Stricker Street, where outsiders are unwelcome unless they have drugs or money to share, Tony Shore has neither.

He pulls up in his teal Ford Escort and, like a traveling street vendor, pulls a few unframed paintings from the trunk and props them against the car.

His casually hip clothes and Yale sticker in the car window go little noticed by the people who spend every sweltering afternoon on these streets like it's their living room. They have known him all 28 years of his life, since before his clothes were cool, before he could hold a paint brush. READ MORE

tony shore: Harry

Kerr Houston, Exhibition Essay (later featured in Bmore Art)

Attention, paid

Fifteen years after I first encountered (during an open studio tour at Yale in the mid-1990s), Tony Shore’s paintings on velvet, I can still recall my immediate reactions. I remember feeling unsettled by what felt like a grave monumentality: a stoic desire to record and even commemorate an aspect of life in an East Coast city that I did not yet know well. I remember the dense, private blacks, which seemed to possess some of the active, Manichean energy of the shadows in Rembrandt’s etchings. And I remember thinking, too, that these images were something new in my experience: a combination of kitschy material and apparent sincerity that treated urban family life in a tone that was at once sympathetic and unromanticizing. READ MORE