Tony DeVarco (b. 1961) received his Masters in Arts Administration from the College Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati in 1986. Moving to New York City as a young artist, DeVarco became involved in such innovated programs as Studio in a School, founded by Agnes Gund and Creative Time started by Anita Contini. It was while coordinating programs for Creative Time, that DeVarco was introduced to American abstract expressionist sculptor Mark Di Suvero. He spent a year and a half as Di Suvero’s assistant while living and working on his own art and contributing to the development of Socrates Sculpture Park. In addition to Di Suvero’s direct influence, Tony’s approach to sculpture and mixed media at the time was deeply inspired by the work of the Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi whom the artist met in 1987.
After leaving NYC in late 1988, Tony taught Arts Administration at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati for two years. While there he co-wrote and produced with Cincinnati playwright and Professor of Drama Michael Burnham a theater piece entitled Buckminster Fuller: In and Out of the Universe. The play, which also featured DeVarco’ set designs, was presented by the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Ohio. Tony DeVarco was appointed Executive Director of the Buckminster Fuller Institute in 1991 and led the organization until May of 1995 after moving its headquarters and Fuller Archives from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara.
In 2005 Tony DeVarco returned to his artistic practice with fresh vision and new tools. Through his later years in the digital environments of Silicon Valley while traveling regularly for SGI to Japan, Europe and other locations around the globe, his artist’s tools became more technological and ephemeral – a laptop and a digital camera. With these tools, he has explored a completely unique approach to the creation of digital photomontages. DeVarco is represented by the Marta Hewlett Gallery.
For the past thirteen years I have been experimenting with the most straightforward of digital tools- a laptop, a digital camera, a Cannon 44” 12 color printer and the ubiquitous software presentation product: PowerPoint. As a former sculptor who enjoyed working with basic material like stone, rope and wood, I “backed into” my current technique sitting in a hotel room in Tokyo while working on a PowerPoint presentation for work in 2005.
I don’t feel like a photographer in the traditional sense but more like a sculptor gathering pixels like I used to gather stones or other found objects. That said, I feel drawn to share my ideas and technique with those who are interested in pushing the boundaries of lens based art.