Tony Roko Opening at 323East 1/15

Best for his hyper-stylized and urban figurative paintings, Roko uses automotive paints, industrial enamels, and repurposed materials to tell the story. In his work he combines the “gritty” texture of daily life with a sensual undertone of emotional resonance.

Roko is a self-taught artist that is inspired by his surroundings. He began his career with Ford in 1990 working on the line of the Wayne Assembly Plant installing Angel Wings. In 1991 Ford and UAW officials took notice of his artistic abilities as he gained a reputation for using his lunch breaks to feed his passion to sketch. They asked him to lead their plant beautification program by painting murals on walls throughout the facility to help boost employee morale. He started using industrial enamels out of necessity because there was not paint in a tube that would hold up in the gritty factory environment. Roko continues to use industrial enamels in all of his paintings to this day. He has painted more than 40 murals in his 20-years with the company.

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