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The Spotlight: Tony peralta

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

Artist Statement:

My work is a culmination of my experiences and culture as a New Yorker, 1st born generation Dominican and Hip Hop culture. A huge part of my process is paying attention to the mundane everyday things that most people overlook. My medium is screen printing and I create large scale art pieces that I call Pop Arte. Through my work I strive to represent for the under-represented.

Tony Peralta is a first generation Dominican Contemporary Artist based in New York City who is known for his vibrant and cultural iconography and pop-art work. "Using screen printing, painting, and mixed media techniques, Peralta has paid homage to his heritage, showcased the stigma of Blackness in Dominican identity, and tipped his hat to the golden age of Hip-Hop. His personal depiction of the Latino American experience fills a need for ambicultural representation." The relate-ability and cultural relevance of his work has gained

traction on social media and his work has been purchased by celebrities such as Junot Diaz, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Swizz Beats. Through his social media engagement, he launched his e-commerce site, allowing his audience and community to purchase prints of his work along with share in the representation of identity by wearing items with New York and Afro-Latino cultural references.

Expressing interest in art since a young age, Peralta always found himself expressing his creativity through doodling and stylistic choices. Peralta's artistic journey is led by his passion and creativity, and is non-traditional in the sense that he did not attend art school. He has now been an artist for 20 years and has previously worked as a graphic and accessory designer, starting his clothing brand, the Peralta Project in 2005 as a hobby but since launching has grown his business over the past 10 years. As an artist, Peralta is always seeking inspiration in his experience and work he encounters, "What inspires me is GREAT work. From art, movies, tv shows, music travel, etc. A good piece of art in any form gets me excited and creates a storm of creativity inside of me. It taps into a side of me that gets me inspired and excited to create." Another great source of inspiration as an artist is your home. As a New Yorker, the cultural pot the city has to offer along with the personal experience and nostalgia of growing up in a neighborhood like Washington Heights during the rise of Hip Hop culture has influenced Peralta's creative journey. "My Love for New York mostly stems from my childhood and growing up in the 80’s. The memories that I have stored growing up in Washington Heights during those formative years for me was very influential.. From witnessing the early days of Hip Hop culture outside my door step, to navigating this city as a child of an immigrant, to experiencing the different cultures that exist in the city.."

What advice do you have for inspiring artists?

  • Don’t compare yourself or your work to others. Everyone one has their own point of view and method to creating.

  • It’s not a sprint but a marathon.

  • Stay consistent, don’t over think it and just do.

  • If something doesn’t work, create something else.

What insight can you provide on how to become a full-time artist?

It took me a long time to become a full-time artist and the hustle never stops. An important thing for me to becoming a full time artist was

Having a job that maintained and supported me while at the same time investing my time on creating work. I had a full design career

Before and that allowed me the space to do my own thing. Again, things don’t happen overnight. If you want to be an artist, you do it cause you have to.

Ashley Miah

June 2022

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