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Hero image for Profiles - Tony Fomison

Profiles - Tony Fomison

Television (Full Length Episode) – 1981

You’ve got to maintain your objective viewpoint in the midst of a mucky, emotional thing like painting. You can leave the mucky emotions to the people looking at it, once it’s finished.
– Tony Fomison
I think I must have had a craving for images, quite regardless of what we had in the house. You know when I was a kid, you still got realistic illustrations in kids books. It was realism I was interested in...you know, painting as a depiction of events.
– Tony Fomison on childhood inspiration
I used what I could of the ancestral culture that I was visiting in Europe, but I couldn't afford to listen too much to the books and the commentators who would have sidetracked me completely, from what I can do — the little that I can do, with my paintbrushes.
– Tony Fomison on his time overseas
I'm shy about the pe'a because of the attitude of a lot of my painting friends who do not understand my involvement with the immigrant communities here, Polynesian communities. But I'm very proud of it, and so also are they, because my having the pe'a has been a contact between cultures, and between like thinking minds...
– Tony Fomison on his pe’a (traditional Samoan body tattoo)
Fomison clearly relished depicting such unsettling creatures because he felt they literally embodied his deep disdain for 'civilised' bourgeois society.
– Writer Howard Davis on Tony Fomison's work, Scoop website, 18 September 2018