Dallas and New York based artist Tony Bones has made about as many enemies as he had fans with his years of prominent graffiti. Many have entered the debate as to whether his work actually qualifies as art. Tony’s luck has caught up with him in his home town, though and now he is forced to face the ugly consequences of his illegal activities. Fortunately for the artist, enough of an audience exists that a transition to galleries has become his main focus. The N. Period had the chance to sit down with Tony Bones recently at The Public Trust in Deep Ellum, where he has an upcoming solo show.
N.: What was yr first experience with graphic art/design?
Tony Bones: I got started really I guess doing doodles. On school papers, on my school tests, like in the margins and stuff. Then it moved on to my desk, and then I started writing in the bathrooms at school — it just went everywhere from there. All city, all over the place. It was an evolution, then it consumed me, the whole graffiti thing.
N.: I know that you are from East Dallas, which is one of the most culturally diverse parts of the city. When you were growing up, did you know how great of a neighborhood that you were in?
TB: I didn’t really have anything to put it against, but I definitely had an appreciation for it. East Dallas has more of a neighborhood feel, kinda like an old flavor, more of a sense of community, I’ve always had a lot of love for the East side.
N.: Who were your influences once you got into graffiti?