Living & Creating in France
Artist Tony Roko
From Detroit to Montmartre
Tony has been spending more and more time in France, tracing the paths of artists such as Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Picasso, and pursuing his lifelong dream of living and creating in Paris.
Tony’s portrait of Frédé, the landlord of Au Lapin Agile cabaret in Montmartre, now hangs on the wall there, in the same place as the art of his artistic idols. Tony was incredibly honored and humbled by this experience.
Always inspired by the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh, Tony painted this portrait of him in France after a visit to the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence where Vincent stayed.
Tony has delved into learning about iconic figures in French history, such as Édith Piaf and Michou, and plans to include paintings of them in his Paris exhibition.
Tony was heavily inspired and influenced by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the spirit of French entertainers long before ever venturing to France, and now even more-so after having experienced this life for himself.
Endlessly inspired and driven by his artistic idols, such as Amedeo Modigliani and Pablo Picasso, Tony plans to honor them by painting their portraits in the same environment that fostered their phenomenal artistry.
Tony also sources inspiration from musicians and their experiences in France. A painting of David Bowie as "Ziggy" and a sketch of the songstress Dalida are among some of the portraits Tony has created in France.
Tony frequents the unique cafés of Paris and, of course, leaves his mark whenever he can to show his appreciation for these incomparable landmarks.
Tony is set to live in Paris part-time and immerse himself in French culture, and plans on hosting an exhibition of his work honoring the cultural history of Montmartre in 2023 or 2024. He appeared on French television in November of 2022 for an interview about his journey.