Antonio Russo, AKA Stony, was born in England in 1965, to Sicilian parents. He began painting and drawing at a young age, using it as a tool to express himself due to struggles navigating dyslexia and autism. Stony was always extremely driven and motivated, and started racing cars at the age of sixteen. By the time he was eighteen, he was a part of ‘Formula Ford’, and at twenty-one he joined the likes of Damon Hill, Eddie Irvine, and Johnny Herbert in ‘Formula Three’. Just five years after this, Stony was inspired by his father, and opened a chain of eight successful restaurants – the most notable of these being ‘Oscars’, named after his son. In addition to all of this, Stony founded his own record label, ‘Loony Records’, and worked with notable artists such as Kanye West, Usher and Eliza Doolittle.
Artistically, Stony’s work is extremely unique. It shows ties to urban and street art, with twists of abstraction and features of his own, personal quotes and mantras. He was heavily inspired by his life and family and particularly, in recent years, his battle with cancer. This was a very close cause to his heart, due to his father’s passing of the same disease in 2007. Stony raised money for ‘The Brain Tumour Charity’, mental health charity, ‘Mind’, and the NHS during COVID-19. He lived by the motto “make the most of life” and continued to create art until he passed in June 2022.
‘The Life of Stony: Mind, Heart and Art’ is an exclusive documentary, shot in partnership with Grove Gallery and Quantus Gallery. It features intimate interviews with those closest to Stony: his son, Oscar, his partner and sales representative, Sally, and friend and gallery founder, James. They each share personal, moving details about their relationships with Stony, and give insight into his life as a father, partner, and the potent and raw artist he was. The documentary also includes never-before-seen footage of Stony’s home, which stands as physical representation of his mind – colourful and wrapped in his leaking inner most thoughts. The film glimpses into his past through old family photographs and images from his ‘Formula Ford’ days, his career in music, and his successful restaurant businesses. This documentary truly captures who Stony was and the legacy he has left behind, both professionally and personally.
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