Reference Library

Exhausted all the redundant 70’s references at Gallagher’s and looking for a new bolt of imagery? Well it’s mid-80’s illustration to the rescue. What’s looking fresh right now is the work of illustrator Tony Viramontes whose high contrast, flat effect style would be a perfect point of inspiration for today’s Photoshop heavy photography. Known for his work in The Face as well as on album covers for Janet Jackson and that shortlived Duran Duran offshoot Arcadia, Viramontes’ work is being rediscovered by a seminal group of young photographers and art directors. Come to think of it, how sick would it be for a shrewd DJ to throw some Arcadia into the catwalk mix of the upcoming shows. Can there be anything more fashionable than the vanity projects of bored young English millionaires?

  1. tony was a very good and close friend,

    we went though art center in pasadena together.
    we did some films, photo shoots and other groundwork projects.

    we both thought about moving to NY so i brought him to new york with me and we stayed in mark di suvero’s loft in lower Manhattan for a a couple of weeks . alot of great sculpture hanging around. not only mark’s work but many of his friends. pretty amazing looking back on it,
    saw devine in some club and went nuts.

    when i moved back to NY tony introduced me to everyone in NY. the late 70’s and early 80’s. as a young art director, the parties were the best. and the girls were awesome.
    i loved women and he loved men. nonetheless we understood each other.

    the crazy part is he was always stressed about delivering on a project. he worked for them all.
    gautier, ralph lauren, ect. we would meet with way bandi for juice, or with tina chow for dumplings.

    frankly it was nuts, and his life was just like that. nuts.

    i moved back to LA and was building a home in pacific palisades with ray kappe,
    tony came to visit.
    he was weak and couldn’t climb up the building site. i didn’t know he was sick, and died shortly thereafter.

    my daughter has some of his drawings in her room. but doesn’t know the story yet.

    gordon melcher


  2. one more comment,
    the woman on the bottom left with the scarf and flat hat is Rene Russo.
    we talked about those drawings extensively. and frankly, all of his drawings.


  3. I am trying to locate a book called 1000 Arabian Nights that he did the illustrations

  4. mike

    i don’t know of that book, but you may want to ask his brother ralphie. or his mum.
    you may find his family in culver city. but i have not spoken with them in many years. its a shame.

    good luck in your search.


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