Conversation Hearts: Tony DeVoney
Tony DeVoney; Painter; Los Angeles, CA, USA
Tony DeVoney is a 24-year-old, LA-based visual expressionist who creates stunning works through painting, pouring and layering. DeVoney has a strong social media following, and has been particularly apt in using his platform to elevate conversations regarding mental wellness, queerness and the experiences of a career artist. Through palpable transparency and vulnerability in his public posts, DeVoney has promoted a prevailing message of self-love and positivity that continually transcends the status-quo and inspires creativity to his broader audience. His work was recently featured at the ICA LA exhibit “Incognito” individually at pop-up galleries like Keller Williams Larchmont, and sold as individual commissions nationwide.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
DN: How would you describe what you do?
TD: If I could describe what I do, even in just one word, I’d say expression. The root of my passion stems from my urge to express, whether that be of my emotions, life obstacles, lessons, travels, love, nature… The list goes on. The ability to express through color and movement potentially making someone feel maybe even just a little of what I’m putting into a piece is so rewarding.
But I paint to relive, reflect instead of deflect and grow. A form of therapy, I’ve discovered along the way is embraced and enjoyed by others.
DN: Is there anything coming up we can spotlight? (I believe I remember reading about a possible showcase around March?)
TD: Yes! I am shooting for my second solo exhibition titled “Desert Rainbows In July” this coming March, still working out dates and such.
DN: What’s your relationship with Valentine’s Day? How do you celebrate, if you do?
TD: I’d say I have no relationship with Valentine's Day. I’ve never really had a “gay” valentine thus far in life, so I don’t really have much urge to celebrate. I do believe it’s a day of love and appreciation.
DN: How do you see Valentine's Day, queerness and other marginalized identities intersecting? How do you wish Valentine's day was represented?
TD: I see them intersecting where love is the main focus. In the queer world a common motto spoken about is “Love Wins” and with a day strictly encompassing just that I can see a happy mesh. A day celebrating love, for whoever and whatever they may be.
DN: Any advice you would give to young queer artists that you wish you had heard earlier?
TD: Don’t compare. Focus on YOUR craft. Experiment!! Keep going, time will tell.
DN: Since Cherry is a fashion + beauty magazine (as well as a wellness magazine), I have to ask: what would your go-to Valentine’s Day look be?
TD: Not sure I’d ever or have ever had one, but maybe some bright colors.