Though seemingly endowed with an elevating force, the majority of the material used in Tony Cox’s work could be found under foot. Daily debris, cigarette cartons,wrappers, fabric from a couch tossed to the curb, undergo an alchemy, as they are collected, kept, and woven into a patchwork. The spiritual in the banal. Spools of thread weaving in and out of paper, the rhythm of the needle a meditation, an echo of a grandmother’s hand. While visiting his studio on 39th street, Tony sat facing the window, exuding a heavy calm with an artwork in his lap, an ashtray and an open window. Questions asked, needle in, needle out, a slow reply. Past works and current works lining the walls of his tiny space, awaiting October 6th, to be hung for Tony’s show. Stacks of books on the shelf, some left behind, he said, by Agathe Snow, who had the studio before him, others given by friends. Magic of the Supernatural with tattered edges. A cement block etched in by Rita Ackerman. A travel notebook sewn and stamped with a diarist’s compulsion, written in symbols rather than words. Symmetry. Escapism. Glue. And Tony, still by the window, eyes on his work.
White Trash Mystic is presented by Rassa Montaser and Grear Patterson. The show opens October 6th with a reception from 6-8pm at 211 Elizabeth Street. It runs through the month of October.
Above photo by Grear Patterson.