Featured Artist Anthony Ferguson

Artsy Shark is please to present the portfolio of talented artist Anthony Ferguson. See more of his work by visiting his website and blog.

My name is Anthony Ferguson and I am a painter, webcomic creator, and graphic designer based in Richmond, Virginia.  I am a  recent graduate of the University of Richmond with a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and Art History.

My paintings are characterized by bold line, emphatic color, and cartoon-like figural imagery.  Most of my work has a very graphic, collage-like structure, with figures fusing with one another and becoming fragmented or abstracted in a surreal-like fashion.

I enjoy making smooth, swirling lines, quick gestures, and abrupt contrasts in hue.  The characters that grow out of my paintings are usually wrinkly, grotesque, contorted creatures with grinning or snarling facial expressions.  I use the verb  “grow” because my process is marked by an evolution of form through the layering of paint.  Many of these under-layers are semi-visible.  I rarely start a painting with a plan.  I like improvisation.

What Are Your Goals?

First and foremost, my work is a means of coming to grips with my spiritual beliefs.  I know nowadays the topic of “God” is sometimes loaded with misconceptions and prejudice, but that’s exactly why I choose to confront it in my work.  I for one am confused as hell when it comes to God, but I do believe that there is a higher power that, for some inexplicable reason, chooses to be a part of our lives.  I guess I’d best be described as a liberally-thinking Christian who is mighty-confused as to what exactly Jesus was.  Painting is my method of examining the questions and doubts that I deal with on a day to day basis.  Do I always get answers?  Definitely not, but the process is a fulfilling one.

Who Inspires You?

I’ve always loved drawing cartoons, but the passion grew deeper still when Robert Crumb, the infamous underground comix legend himself, came to speak in Richmond, VA during the Fall 2009 semester.  His interview and the ensuing controversy forever changed my approach to art.  If you’re not familiar with Crumb’s work, just know that he was incredibly influential in the ’60s and ’70s hippy culture, igniting entire generations of comic book artists even into the modern day. His comics were unapologetic, introspective, and infamously controversial for their raunchy subject matter.

My art is nowhere near as “inappropriate” as Crumb’s work, but that spirit of rebellion and disruption of the status quo lives on.  Many of my paintings challenge Church authority and pry into the history of the Christian religion.  It seeks to stir up complacency and question moral decay.  It attempts to illustrate confusion, corruption, and separation from God.

Other influences I most often cite are Phillip Guston, Jim Woodring, Marc Chagall, Kandinsky, and the Abstract Expressionists of the ’50’s.

What Are You Working On Now?

Along with several paintings in the works, I’ve recently begun a nonlinear webcomic loosely called “Conglomics,” meaning “Conglomeration Comics.”  Much like my paintings, these digitally produced “ink” illustrations utilize much of the same aesthetic vocabulary that is in my painting.  They are sort of on the trippy side but all the symbolism and imagery is very carefully constructed.  A lot of the visual references in these works are directly from my webcomic , “Beebanks.”


  1. I goofed! This article has been changed – I inadvertently posted the wrong text, but that has been corrected. Anthony was most gracious – and very talented. In fact, I hired him to do some freelance work!

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