Exhibitionists·Video

From corporate finance to splattering paint, Anthony Ricciardi is owning the art world

Leaving his comfortable job was a risk as big as his massive paintings — but it's all been worth it.

Leaving his comfortable job was a risk as big as his massive paintings — but it's all been worth it

(CBC Arts)

Anthony Ricciardi has gone from being a financial analyst to becoming a world-renowned artist. That involves taking some risks — especially because Ricciardi is colour blind and his paintings are saturated and layered with multiple hues. 

In this video, Ricciardi explains why he quit his comfortable job in Toronto's corporate finance world in order to pursue his passion for art full-time. While he was making the transition, he would work the requisite eight hours a day at his finance job and commit his evenings to creating paintings. "It wasn't a courage thing — it was a necessity thing," he says. "Organically, this is growing. What if I leave my current job? Will this exponentially grow my art?"

Watch the video:

Artist Ricciardi opens up about painting, colour and quitting his day job. 3:29

Ironically, Ricciardi's colour blindness was a driving force behind developing his art's unique look. Because different colours have a tendency to merge into an indistinct muddy tone to him, he allows each layer of paint to dry before he adds another colour. This step prevents him from making a mess of the work, and perfecting his process has allowed Ricciardi to create a signature sense of depth in his paintings. Many of these feature an icon from pop culture's history, deconstructed and painted over with layers of vivid paint, quotes and other images.

Through his process, his use of words and the figures in his paintings that inspire him, Ricciardi remains determined, provocative and fully in command of colour.

You can see Anthony Ricciardi's work at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto until August 31.

(Anthony Ricciardi)
(CBC Arts)
(Anthony Ricciardi)

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.

About the Author

A recent graduate from the RTA School of Media, Brittany is a director and cinematographer based out of Toronto. Fascinated with finding the heart of a story and building on its foundations, she combines both narrative and technical aspects of filmmaking in order to provide entertainment, insight and change to a larger Canadian audience.