Tony Monsanto was born on Curaçao in 1946. He graduated at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 1969 and after that studied architecture at the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands.
Since 1992 he was a full time artist. After living abroad for a number of years he returned to Curaçao in 1999. Tony Monsanto passed away in Curaçao on January 25, 2014.
“My work incorporates contemporary issues, like environmental and social subjects, dealing with the complexity of our Caribbean identity and reality. Migration of our people to the economical centers causes a brain drain and stagnation of our economy. Some, as a reaction to the demands of the harsh reality, seek mental support in the mythical world of anesral African religions. While the stereotype images combine clear blue waters, sandy beaches, palm trees, cool cocktails, tanned bodies, drum beating musicians, carnival parades and attractive dancers into a picture postcard view of the Caribbean, the population is struggling with unemployment, low income, political indecision as part of post-colonialism, as well as drug, gambling and alcohol addiction.” (Tony Monsanto)
“Dutch Caribbean artists have regularly been contributing to the biennals in Havana and Santo Domingo…Tony Monsanto has played a significant role in the creation of this greater visibility for the modern art of Curaçao. …It is gratifying to observe the strength with which Monsanto reinvigorates painting. He is thoroughly imbued with the aura provided by Caribbean light and color. He has made a thorough study of both the history and the multiplicity of cultural legacies of the area, and het has incorporated both direct and discreet references to Caribbean legends, Afro-Caribbean traditions, religious complexity and the diversity of ethnicities in the area. His highly expressive paintings capture amny of the quintessential qualities of the social conundrum that is the Caribean in today’s globalized and multicultural world.”
Edward J. Sullivan PHD, Chairman Department of Art History Acting Dean of Humanities, NYU.
Click below for the video on Island Reflections, an art exhibit on 10 Curaçao artists in Michigan, USA (2011).
Solo Exhibits (selection)
2008 Siddhartha Art Gallery, Kathmandu, Nepal.
2005 Artist in Residence at the Caribbean Museum Center, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.
2005 Chelsea Galleria, Miami, Fl., USA.
1997 Artist in Residence at SAW Gallery, Ottawa Canada.
1995 Gallery, Art Museum of the Americas (OAS), Washington D.C. USA.
1994 Museo de Arte Moderno, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
1993 Museum for Arts and Crafts, Zagreb, Croatia.
Group exhibits (selection)
2012 Who More sci-fi than us?, KAdE, Amersfoort, The Netherlands.
2011 Island Reflections. De Pree Art Center and Gallery, Hope College, Holland, Michigan USA.
2010 Antepasado di Futuro, Curaçao Museum, Curaçao.
2010 Vous êtes ici, Fondation Clément, Martinique.
2010 Triennal International del Caribe, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
2009 International Art Festival, Kathmandu, Nepal.
2009 Countryhouse Groot Santa Martha, Curaçao.
2009 El Ultimo Libro, a project by Luis Camnitzer, National Library, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2007 Salón de Dibujos, MAM, Santo Domingo.
2007 Alegria, Galerie Artitude. Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
2007 Erfenis van de Slavernij, Surinaams Museum. Paramaribo, Surinam.
2006 IV Bienal Internacional de Estandartes. Tijuana, Mexico.
2003 V Bienal del Caribe. Casa Museo de Tostado, Santo Domingo.
2003 Erfenis van de Slavernij. Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
2001 IV Biennal del Caribe. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
2001 Arte. CBK, TENT. Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
2000 Mitos en el Caribe, Casas de las Americas. Havana, Cuba.
2000 Encuentro Internacional del Arte. MAC, Santiago de Chile.
1994 II Bienal de Pintura del Caribe y Centroamerica. Sto. Domingo.
1994 IV Bienal Internacional de Pintura. Cuenca, Ecuador.
1993 Art Museum of the Americas (AOS). Washington DC, USA.
‘Curaçao: Hub in the Caribbean’, Jennifer Smit in Caribbean Art at the Crossroads of the World, El Museo del Barrio, New York and Yale University Press, 2012.
Curaçao Classics, Visual Arts 1900 - 2010, KIT, Amsterdam, 2012.
Curating in the Caribbean, The Green Box, Berlin, Germany, 2012.
Who more sci-fi than us?, KAdE, Amersfoort, 2012.
Separating Myth from Reality, Status of Women, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2009.
Nukta Art, Karachi, Pakistan, Sangeeta Thapa, volume 4, 2009.
Artists from Curaçao, Photography by Sinaya Wolfert - Text by Eva Breuking, 2007.