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This piece is part of Tony’s series entitled ROLOS & ICONS, which features a range of notable Latinas wearing hair rollers. It’s a thoughtful, clever and humorous twist on Warhol’s iconic silkscreen portraits; Tony uses the technique to celebrate a broad and diverse spectrum of Latino women and to elevate an everyday act—getting your hair done at the salon—to high art. This work depicts the Afro-Latina and Cuban singer Celia Cruz. She is an important figure for the artist because, as he states, “Growing up, she was the only person I saw on television who looked like me.”
New York, NY
M. Tony Peralta makes work that celebrates iconic Latin cultural symbols and explores his multifaceted identity as Afro-Latino and New Yorker. He was born and raised in NYC’s Washington Heights neighborhood to Dominican parents. Drawn to artmaking from a young age, Tony found early inspiration in comic books, graffiti culture and hip hop music, and later, from artists such as Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Frida Kahlo. He received a Media Arts degree from Long Island University and spent his “previous life” as a graphic designer designing fashion accessories for brands such as B. Makowsy, Kathy Van Zeeland and Oscar de la Renta. He has had exhibitions at NoMAA Gallery, Manhattan and Renaissance Fine Art, Harlem and his work is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian. His art is also in the private collections of Lin-Manual Miranda, Junot Díaz, and Swiss Beatz. Tony will soon open his first brick and mortar shop in his home neighborhood of Washington Heights - a major feat for an area being overrun with gentrification.