What sets Tony's work apart is that, unlike most artists, he studies the birds he paints in their natural environment so he can capture the unique attitude and movement of each species.
Tony Pridham is Australia's premier painter of birds. An artist of extraordinary talents, specialising in subjects of the natural world, painted in the traditions of classical realism and hyperrealism.
As the grand-nephew of Sidney Nolan, Tony hails from Australian art royalty. Tony's precocious talent was evident from an early age: with his first attempt, aged 19, he won Best Painting at the prestigious Wildlife Art Society of Australia awards. An artist of extraordinary talent, Tony specialises in subjects of the natural world, painted in the traditions of classical realism, although his recent move into Hyperrealism has led to a shift in his painting style. As an artist, his beliefs are very much informed by the philosophy of the New Realism movement which states that something beautiful, painted beautifully, is a justification in itself. His paintings aim to inspire and bring a sense of wonder to the viewer. Tony is recognised internationally as the foremost living bird artist in Australia.
A keen and knowledgeable naturalist, Tony travels widely searching for new ideas and challenges. His field research has taken him throughout Australia, Europe, USA and Africa. However Tony's passion for the Australian bush, its wonderful light and its diverse fauna and flora, keep him travelling throughout this continent. Tony has a genuine love for and deep knowledge of the birds.
Tony's art has been published in a number of science based natural history books. Most notably the Whitley award winning "Grassfinches in Australia", CSIRO Publishing 2012. He is a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists, and has twice taken out that Societies highest honour the "award of excellence". His work has been accepted 10 times into the prestigious "Birds in Art"show. Pridham originals have appeared in all the major auction Houses, most notably Christie's, Sotheby's and Bonham's.
Amazonia is easily the most challenging and technically difficult painting I have ever attempted. It is one of my first adventures into 'hyperrealism', or photo-realism as some may call it. This image involved 14 weeks of constant work at the easel, following a trip we did to the Amazonian cloud-forests of Ecuador. We stayed a week at a place called Tandayapa, a bird-lodge which is famous for its hummingbird feeders. The one species that particularly took my eye was the Green-crowned Brilliant. To me it had just the right colours and proportions to make an interesting painting. During our stay we took 4,552 images of hummingbirds, of which only six were good enough for use. Using those six photos I montaged them together to get the exact image I desired. As an artist I am always looking for new challenges and ways to express myself - hyperrealism is one way to push new creative boundaries. You could certainly say it was a labour of love!