tony orrico: performance drawings
tony orrico: performance drawings
may 04, 2011

tony orrico: performance drawings

‘penwald drawings’ tony orrico shoshana wayne gallery santa monica, california from 28 may – 9 july, 2011

‘penwald: 2: 8 circles’ graphite, paper 240” x 240” photo by michael hart

as much of a performance as it is a drawing, the work of american artist tony orrico explores the capacity of the human body as a physical tool for creating art. with a background in dance and choreography, orrico utilizes his own body – sometimes just the wrist, sometimes his whole form – to generate massive drawings that are at once organic and highly precise.

‘I marvel at the composition of nature and cycles,’ says orrico. ‘I am not versed in the convergence of art and mathematics or sciences, but find myself instinctually attracted to this relationship. I try to dilute my efforts and find an experiential point of entrance. I like to experiment with both embodied and cognitive systems that yield beauty. my favorite art is somewhat accidental and overwhelmingly concise.’

whether it be spinning on his torso or pivoting a specific joint, a specific motion is established and repeated throughout the performance. the completion of each piece ranges from 15 minutes to as long as 7 continuous hours.

tony orrico: performance drawings ‘penwald: 6: project, recoil’ (2011) graphite, paper 1.5 hours 60” x 180”photo by bart dykstra

tony orrico: performance drawings installation view of ‘penwald: 2’ and ‘penwald: 4’ image © peter cox

tony orrico: performance drawings ‘penwald: 4: unison symmetry standing’ (2010) permanent marker on wall 12 hours 80” x 216” photo by michael hart

tony orrico: performance drawings orrico during a performance photo by michael hart

tony orrico: performance drawings photo by carlos martin

tony orrico: performance drawings detail photo by carlos martin

tony orrico: performance drawings ‘penwald: 2: 8 circles’ photo by thomas willemsen

tony orrico: performance drawings ‘penwald: 8: 12 by 12 on knees’ (2011) graphite on paper approximately 6-7 hours 240” x 240”

tony orrico: performance drawings creating ‘penwald: 3: circle on knees’ photo by efthymia zymvra

tony orrico: performance drawings orrico during ‘penwald: 5: wrists on walk’ (2011) graphite on paper 60” x 60” photo by bart dykstra

  • lead poisoning?

    keiralx says:
  • … because there’s so much lead in pencils nowadays

    niq says:
  • brilliant moving work!

    waxman says:
  • i like

    Darija S.H. says:
  • training art)

    Mikhail Belyaev says:
  • me fasina!!!

    messunnas says:
  • Did you notice the dance the shadow of his body creates as he draws against the wall when you watch the performance from the 45 degree angle? The project is intriguing on many different levels. Love it!

    Sparky says:
  • Lead Poisoning….

    Keep the mysticism home dude says:
  • He able to make the balance in his movement and artworks.. truly artist!

    NK says:
  • There is no “lead” in lead pencils. That is a common misconception. Its a type of clay that makes up all “Lead” pencils. always has been …read the amazing book “the history of the Pencil”…..wars have been fought over the clay fields.

    This guy is AMAZING…its so meditative to watch him!

    urban woodswalker says:
  • Gimmicky.

    He sure is cute, though (and if he has an accent he should do just fine).

    SpeakingInTongues says:
  • Yoga and Spirograph had a baby, and its name is Tony Orrico.

    Mushi says:
  • at first i was like.. this is not weird at all.

    now.. i think this is hot.

    p.s. mushi + 1

    boo says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
504,291 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine