Biography

Tony CribbChristchurch's Tony Cribb has been exhibiting since 2001, and his darkly humorous art has found a home in many collections and galleries. Inspired since childhood by the crazy surreal characters of Jim Henson and by the cinematic worlds of Tim Burton, he also has a passion for the work of Shaun Tan and Oliver Jeffers. Cribb’s art is filled with WHIMSICALLY SURREAL CHARACTERS and images that are simultaneously comic and poignant.

Cribb has been drawing since childhood, selling his first painting for the princely sum of nine marbles when he was 11 years old. Clearly inspired to continue a career in the visual arts, he undertook a Bachelor of Design course at Christchurch Polytechnic, during which time he honed the skills of illustration and composition which he has used to good effect ever since.

Cribb’s works have a strong cartoon element, many of his pieces being simple illustrative or punning frames. Often he leaves the meaning of the pieces vague or imprecise, allowing the viewer to fill in their own gaps in the narration. They thus become works which combine emotional subtlety with postage-stamp simplicity. The images have a strong narrative content, each a snapshot into the artist’s mental world. Cribb loves the idea of his work evoking reactions in the viewer, as he feels this adds a spark of LIFE to the works. Many of the pieces focus on the difficulties of life’s daily journeys and achievement of goals, but the dark comedy inspiration evokes a joyful response. As such, there is a continuation of that shining comedic thread of the hapless seeker which has run from the era of silent films to the present day.

Cribb works mainly in oils and acrylic, starting with a combination of sketches and imagination that spontaneously take on their own life as the work progresses. His creativity constantly bounces around different ideas, themes, styles and colours in what the artist describes as “The Wonderful Weird of Cribb”.

Want to read more? Check out the following stories:
'Where The Weird Things Are' - Otago Daily Times
'Tony Cribb and the Tin Man Colouring Contest (expired)' - The Press
'Tin Man Turns Titanium' - The Press
'The Grill: Tony Cribb'  - The Press
'A Contained Life'  - The Press

'These Paintings Will Match Your Curtains. Unless They Don't' - Otago Daily Times