Metro Detroit visual artist Tony Roko has created a series of paintings based on local restaurants and bartenders, which he’s selling to help support is helping some of his favorite businesses in the industry.
The 10 pieces of art are hanging in restaurants such as Grey Ghost, SheWolf, the Apparatus Room, and Karl’s in Detroit with a QR code next to the piece. Customers can scan the code and it will take them to a website where they can purchase a print, and a portion of the proceeds will be given directly to the restaurant to be used as it sees fit. Each print in the series is a signed, limited-run 16-by-20-inch giclée, and costs $100.
Roko says many of his friends and family members work in the restaurant industry and this was a way to help support them. “I’m just trying to come up with concepts that illustrate the hard work and devotion of the restaurant industry workers and the challenges they have faced in the last year,’’ says Roko of the idea.
A former Ford assembly worker, Roko became the auto company’s plant-resident artist and painted murals in many Ford facilities. His profile has risen in the last 30 years to become one of southeast Michigan’s most well-known and successful painters. He counts Jay Leno and Lady Gaga among his clients.