Bio

Anthony Bondi uses collage, photography, sculpture, and historical research to explore themes of constructed culture, often specific to his hometown of Las Vegas.

In the early 1990’s, color copiers made it possible to copy pictures from books. The copies could be cut and pasted into a collage. It transformed the possibilities of the technique. Las Vegas postcards could be cut and resized, piece by piece, for a collage. It was both a digital and analogue process marking a moment of transition. It was a tool for remixing the random juxtaposition of themes on the Strip. A hydrogen bomb might go off behind the Convention Center. The results were sold from postcard racks on the Strip. A card from the series is in the Atomic Museum.

In the middle-1990’s, for Burning Man, Bondi designed sculptures based on the sense of touch. It was a dramatic turn from making pictures. Description of the piece must be in tactile terms, not the usual vocabulary of people discussing art. A Civil War drill press is reconfigured to hold a rotating disk of 140 feather dusters. How would that feel? The project invited communication between the person operating the crank and the person being petted.

The Iron Curtain is an 8’ x 8’ x 4’ frame holding densely packed hanging strands of ball chain, a mile of ball chain if it were not cut. How would it feel to walk through it? The infinity of detail in the strands overwhelms vision.

In 2000, Bondi was granted a patent on tactile immersion spaces. It was a startling conclusion to what had been a research project. It was a patent on a concept. It was so broad as to be unenforceable. Still, licensing the patent provided modest but continuing returns.

The projects generated material ready for re-use. By 2007, it was sufficient material for building plastic landscapes, large sets for photography. Plastic lizards and snakes and beach balls and sponges were some of many building blocks. The series explored hedonism and cheesecake and the decay rate of different types of consumer plastic.

In 2013 Bondi was featured on a Las Vegas episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown.

In 2023 his collection of 700 articles documenting 25 years of the Las Vegas art community opened online at lasvegasarts.org.

Portrait: Anthony Bondi