Tony Guo (b. 1999) is an early career painter born in Aotearoa New Zealand who grew up in Northeast China. He migrated to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in 2012 by himself, spending his teen years with host families while adapting to multiculturalism. Vested in modes of figurative oil paintings, Guo’s work projects queer allegory in a psycho-theatre, as moments of whimsy mask a journey into a captive dilemma.
Writing in Art News magazine, Jo Bragg says “Guo’s allegories have no specified meaning. No beginning, middle or end. In their absurdity the works offer a playfully dark personal history alongside a vast reimagined world. full of limitless potential beyond apprehension, for both the artist and the audience alike” (“Absurd Theatre: Tony Guo’s whimsical alienations”, Art News, Spring, 2023)
Tony Guo graduated with a Master of Visual Arts (honours) from Auckland University of Technology in 2022. Already he has received significant critical acclaim including most recently, as the Paramount Winner of the 2023 NZ Painting and Printmaking Award, a Merit Prize in the Molly Morpeth Canaday Award 2023 and the Youth Prize at the Cleveland National Art Award. He has had solo exhibitions in 2023 with Jhana Millers Gallery in Wellington (“Sand”) and Paper Anniversary in Auckland (“Dogtooth”) as well as exhibiting in group exhibitions for the past few years including Aotearoa Art Fair, Paper Anniversary Gallery, 2023; “The Dinner Party”, RM Gallery, Auckland, 2023; “Beyond Borders”, Beresford Square, Auckland, 2022; “Layers: Filling the Void”, Pah Homestead, Auckland, 2020; “Emergent: See”, Lake House Arts Centre, Auckland, 2020; “Accept Each Word Spoken with Love”, Northart Gallery, Auckland, 2019.
Tony Guo will exhibit new work as a solo exhibition with Melanie Roger Gallery in early 2024.