Tony Dotson Folk Art Sculpture "Motivational Speaker," 2017
Tony Dotson (Cincinnati, 20th/21st century)
Motivational Speaker, 2017
Acrylic paint on carved wood assemblage
Signed and dated to the underside
Inscribed to the underside
Tony Dotson began creating art in 2002 after being inspired by the celebrated folk artist Mose Tolliver, whose work he collected. Before exploring his own artistic talent Dotson spent fifteen years working in the music industry, managing popular Cincinnati venues such as Bogart’s, Taft Theatre, Riverbend, and Jammin On Main. Over time Dotson began working full-time as a self-taught artist and has become one of the most highly sought after living artists in Cincinnati, often selling his work directly via social media. Following some of Mose Tolliver’s techniques, Dotson typically works with house paint on wood, but also creates mixed media compositions and assemblages with reused materials such as vintage toys, stuffed animals, and prints, due to his interest in sustainability. He enjoys creating art with his kids and children in orphanages, and even describes himself as a giant kid. Some recurring themes in his work include Batman, Bigfoot, and King Kong among other iconic characters. In addition to Mose Tolliver, Keith Haring is among Dotson’s artistic influences, visible in his use of dark black outlines and his Batman themes, which was a particular motif Dotson viewed in one of Haring’s works. Other influences include R.A. Miller, Gus Fink, and Edward Goss, whose work he also collects.
Throughout his artistic career, Dotson has exhibited his work in over 100 shows in several states including New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Nevada. His work can be found in private collections throughout the world. In a significant moment and exciting artistic opportunity, Dotson was able to collaborate on a piece with Mose Tolliver and his sister Annie Tolliver within the last days of Mose Tolliver’s life. Dotson is currently working on a children’s book and continues to work with the non-profit gallery and studio Visionaries + Voices, where he has collaborated since the organization first opened.
- minor dust accretions throughout; minor abrasion to left side of torso block; minor staining throughout; wear to base.