“I’m not afraid to say what I feel, and I write everything on my canvas. Every piece I paint, I always write how I’m feeling at the time, and I don’t hold back. To get what’s in my head out onto the paper is very therapeutic and important to me for my mind.”
Antonio Russo, AKA Stony, was born in England in 1965, to Sicilian parents. He began painting and drawing at a young age, using it as a tool to express himself due to struggling with dyslexia and autism. Stony was always extremely driven and motivated, and started racing cars at the age of sixteen. By the time he was eighteen, he was a part of ‘Formula Ford’, and at twenty-one he joined the likes of Damon Hill, Eddie Irvine, and Johnny Herbert in ‘Formula Three’. Just five years after this, Stony was inspired by his father, and opened a chain of eight successful restaurants – the most notable of these being ‘Oscars’, named after his son. In addition to all of this, Stony founded his own record label, ‘Loony Records’, and worked with notable artists such as Kanye West, Usher and Eliza Doolittle.
Artistically, Stony’s work is extremely unique. It shows ties to urban and street art, with twists of abstraction and features of his own, personal quotes and mantras. He was heavily inspired by his life and family and particularly, in recent years, his battle with cancer. This was a very close cause to his heart, due to his father’s passing of the same disease in 2007. Stony raised money for ‘The Brain Tumour Charity’, mental health charity, ‘Mind’, and the NHS during COVID-19. He lived by the motto “make the most of life” and continued to create art until he passed in June 2022. He didn't have a line of separation between his life and his art; his life was his masterpiece.