Confessions of a Teenager by Tony Byrne.

Confessions of a Teenager by Tony Byrne.

ARTZU is proud to introduce Confessions Of A Teenager, the personal journey of Tony Byrne’s youth through the rock and roll era, brought vividly to life with his bold and vibrant paintings.

Saturday Night Dance

The 1950’s and 60’s were a period of tremendous upheaval, the war had shaken the country to it’s foundations, traditional values and authorities such as church and family were questioned as never before, and ss a new society struggled to emerge, the phenomenon of the teenager burst onto the scene. For the first time young people who had always felt the need to escape from their elders and express themselves individually could afford to rebel.

Back Row.

Tony perfectly captures the energy and vibrancy of the era, the distinctive fashions and jumping dance halls, jazz cellars and coffee bars of his youth. His colourful paintings transport the viewer into a defining time of music as Rock n Roll, Teddy boys and scooters, changing the face pop music forever.

His idiosyncratic geometric style and anonymous figurative shapes give a nostalgic empathy to any viewer who remembers these iconic times.

Street Corner.

“I created this unique style in the 1980’s, painting 31 pieces. I wanted to depict the four years of my teenage years from 1957 – 1961. These paintings are my memories of some situations of my youth. The 1950’s were a very colourful time, full of fashion and glamour, entwined with both exciting and traumatic times for me.

This style evolved from ‘doodling’ with figurative shapes using memory to design clothing and the environment. My unique design of missing faces was very important to me to ensure the viewers of my work could not identify themselves from that era. I did however, want to tell as much of my story as I could in my paintings. I originally created smaller pieces of this style which I then developed on a much bigger scale on canvas, which I am still creating today.”

Two Timing

“Against this background, Tony Byrne grew up in the mining community of Woodlands. His series of autobiographical “Confessions” – in an arresting and idiosyncratic style which even he cannot explain! – takes a nostalgic look back to his teenage years between 1957 and ’61.
Whilst teenage life is perhaps an original subject for art, the major strength of these paintings is, paradoxically, their “ordinaryness”, in that Tony’s life was anything but unique. His memories, presented so vigorously and affectionately, will strike a chord with many who shared the same adolescent years. They capture, in bold and brilliant colour, both the glamour and excitement and the poignancy and traumas of growing up at that time. Tony was, of course, “a bit of a lad” and some of his confessions are somewhat near the bone, but he portrays them with such humour, honesty and whole hearted enjoyment that few but the most straitlaced could be offended!”

Alison Morrish Curator, Museum of South Yorkshire Life.

Confessions of a Teenager will be premiered at this year’s Manchester Art Fair which will be held on 12th – 14th Oct in the heart of Manchester at Manchester Central (formerly known as the G-Mex Centre) for more details click below.

Outside The Dance.