Antonio knew from an early age that he wanted to be a painter. His father was a skilled storyteller and at his son’s request he would draw scenes from the epics he told. Antonio would work his hardest to imitate the illustrations. He developed an intense passion for drawing over the course of his youth; first in grade school: drawing dogs, horses and fast cars upon request from his peers and teachers – getting his first taste of the commercial art world. In high school both his level of production and his artistic sense saw strong development – but his guidance counselor told him not to invest heavily in art class, noting that a career in the arts would be a waste of time. Not being one for defeatism, or conformity, he immediately applied to art school in Philadelphia. Over the course of his higher education he studied painting, printmaking and sculpture. He took history of film classes as electives and found that the silent films, and the sounds of their projectors, presented a rather hypnotic aesthetic. His work in printmaking and sculpture, and his classes in illustration began to merge with his interest in film. The moving image was influencing, and informing, his approach to painting and illustration – and conversely his studies in the applied arts had an influence on his films.
After graduating – Antonio made his way through Central America – absorbing a variety of life that was pleasantly unfamiliar. He eventually returned to New York and landed in Brooklyn. He soon found himself living within the work-pattern he’d known throughout art school; staying up until dawn in large post facilities, teaching himself how to make films, and learning the mechanics of the video cameras he’d purchased with the remaining pesos from his travels. He poured himself into any project he could get his hands on, always trying to extract something valuable from the process, often times needing to make something out of nothing. This period of improvisation and refinement of wherewithal proved to be invaluable moving forward.
In 2003 he worked with Chad on A Letter to True, a film by Bruce Weber, sleeping on a cot in the basement of a Montauk home where they’d set up a temporary Avid. It marked the beginning of a highly productive collaboration with Bruce Weber and Chad. They worked on films as well as commercials – developing a body of work that made its way around the world; their efforts being featured at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, Cannes, the Cambridge International Film Festival, and on the Sundance Channel. Antonio also works with a wide variety of clients in the fashion, film and art worlds. He continues to ignore the essence of his guidance counselors advice – working on paintings and drawings in his spare time and exhibiting works in Washington, Philadelphia and New York.