Anthony White is a painter, although he paints with plastic, so hes arguably also a sculptor.
Anthony White is a painter, although he paints with heated plastic, so he's arguably a sculptor. Photo by TORI DICKSON

Good morning. It's Wednesday, April 29, and the world continues to be disturbing and strange, but there are signs of hope here or there.

Two worth mentioning: The worldwide reading party is tonight (and you're invited!) and the painter Anthony White continues to make brilliant, eye-popping paintings out of non-traditional subjects and materials.

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In his message today, he has a few book recommendations for all of us, and then he takes us inside his studio for a glimpse of him working on a detail in a new work of art.

"I just wanted to check in today and let everyone know I'm thinking about you and that we are facing this difficult and challenging time together," he says at the start of his message.*

In a profile published in 2018, art critic Jasmyne Keimig wrote:

White is 24 years old and his work is maximalist to the highest degree. It has been causing waves in the Seattle art scene, and for good reason—it's really fucking cool, and it seemingly came out of nowhere.

Anthony graduated from Cornish College of the Arts, and almost immediately got scooped up by Greg Kucera Gallery, the most blue-chip art dealer in Seattle. He paints with plastic using a glue-gun-type tool. The results look like this:

A detail of one of Anthonys paintings.
A detail of one of Anthony's previous paintings. Courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery

As Jasmyne explained in her profile:

He makes his giant, vibrant paintings on handmade wooden panels, although calling them paintings is almost a disservice to them. They occupy a unique middle ground between painting and sculpture.

For the past year, White has primarily been working with a type of plastic used in 3-D printing called polylactic acid (PLA). Coming in a variety of different colors, the plastic is formed into one long, thick rod and unceremoniously shoved into a hot-glue-gun-like machine. The gun warms up the plastic, making it malleable enough to manipulate and fill in the penciled-in sketches on the panels while still maintaining a puffy shape.

The artist at work in his studio.
The artist at work in his studio. Photo by James Harnois

Asked what the painting he's working on in his video message today will look like, Anthony told us that it's a 6.5-foot tondo (circle painting), and that the depiction on it is figurative, and that it was originally scheduled to be completed for an art fair in Dallas earlier this month. He put it to the side when the stay-at-home order was announced, and now he thinks it'll be shown at Seattle Art Fair (if we have one of those this summer). If not then, it'll have to wait for his solo show at Greg Kucera Gallery this fall.

Asked what it depicts, he said, "A lot of my figurative work has money, souvenirs, and luxury and banal objects scattered throughout them, like this one, but I don't want to go into too much detail about what you'll eventually be able to see."

Fair enough! And his book recommendations?

They include Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner.
They include Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner. (Anthony also recommends Lerner's follow-up, 10:04.)

And Magic and Loss by Virginia Heffernan.
And Magic and Loss by Virginia Heffernan.


Any one of these would be fantastic to bring to the reading party.

Especially that art book. Flipping through it, looking at great paintings while listening to Paul Matthew Moore's piano playing sounds like a fabulous way to unwind later. (Join us, won't you?)

Thank you for this glimpse inside your art studio, Anthony. And also the glimpse at what's on your nightstand!

It helps knowing you're hiding out making beautiful works of art for us all to enjoy when this is over.

Have a good Wednesday, everyone.

* Note: The music used toward the end of the video is from John Osebold's project of making songs out of sounds people send him while they're stuck in quarantine.


* *
Previously in this series:


Matt Bishops message on April 27.
Matt Bishop's message on April 27.

Cherdonnas message to the city on April 26.
Cherdonna's message to the city on April 26.

Shenandoah Daviss message to the city on April 25.
Shenandoah Davis's message to the city on April 25.

Lorena Gonzálezs message to the city on April 24.
Lorena González's message to the city on April 24.

Clyde Petersens message to the city on April 23.
Clyde Petersen's message to the city on April 23.

David Ritts message to the city on April 22.
David Ritt's message to the city on April 22.

Sara Porkalobs message to the city on April 21.
Sara Porkalob's message to the city on April 21.

Julia Sweeneys message to the city on April 20.
Julia Sweeney's message to the city on April 20.

Linda Derschangs message to the city on April 19.
Linda Derschang's message to the city on April 19.

Molly Sidess message to the city on April 18.
Molly Sides's message to the city on April 18.

Nick Garrisons message to the city on April 17.
Nick Garrison's message to the city on April 17.

Tomo Nakayamas message to the city on April 16.
Tomo Nakayama's message to the city on April 16.

Rebecca M. Daviss message to the city April 15.
Rebecca M. Davis's message to the city April 15.

Heather McHughs message to the city on April 14.
Heather McHugh's message to the city on April 14.

Brandon ONeills message to the city on April 13.
Brandon O'Neill's message to the city on April 13.

Kate Wallichs message to the city on April 12.
Kate Wallich's message to the city on April 12.

Rebecca Browns message to the city on April 11.
Rebecca Brown's message to the city on April 11.

Lucien Postlewaites message to the city on April 10.
Lucien Postlewaite's message to the city on April 10.

Betty Wetters message to the city on April 9.
Betty Wetter's message to the city on April 9.

Amanda Morgans message to the city on April 8.
Amanda Morgan's message to the city on April 8.

Nancy Guppys message to the city on April 7.
Nancy Guppy's message to the city on April 7.

Jonathan Bisss message to the city on April 6.
Jonathan Biss's message to the city on April 6.

Chris Jeffriess message to the city on April 5.
Chris Jeffries's message to the city on April 5.

Lesley Hazletons message to the city on April 4.
Lesley Hazleton's message to the city on April 4.

John Rodericks message to the city on April 3.
John Roderick's message to the city on April 3.

Bill Cartys message to the city on April 2.
Bill Carty's message to the city on April 2.

Price Suddarths message to the city on April 1.
Price Suddarth's message to the city on April 1.

Kary Waysons message to the city on March 31.
Kary Wayson's message to the city on March 31.

Ellen Forneys message to the city on March 30.
Ellen Forney's message to the city on March 30.

Major Scaless message to the city on March 29.
Major Scales's message to the city on March 29.

E. J. Kohs message to the city on March 28.
E. J. Koh's message to the city on March 28.

Ken Jenningss message to the city on March 27.
Ken Jennings's message to the city on March 27.

Demarre McGills message to the city on March 26.
Demarre McGill's message to the city on March 26.

Lynn Sheltons Message to the City on March 25th.
Lynn Shelton's Message to the City on March 25th.

Timothy White Eagles message to the city on March 24.
Timothy White Eagle's message to the city on March 24.

Cookie Coutures message to the city on March 23.
Cookie Couture's message to the city on March 23.

Sarah Rudinoffs message to the city on March 22.
Sarah Rudinoff's message to the city on March 22.

John Osebolds message to the city on March 21.
John Osebold's message to the city on March 21.


Ben Gibbards message to the city on March 21.
Ben Gibbard's message to the city on March 20.

Nathan Chans message to the city on March 19.
Nathan Chan's message to the city on March 19.