Antonio Mcilwaine, better known as “ARM OF CASSO,” is an Atlanta-based abstract, pop artist. His career is devoted to promoting a new art style that transforms fine art and graffiti art into a personalized genre that he has coined Sharpism. Using Sharpism, Arm of Casso can create intended, contoured, maximalist linework. Because of the vivid usage of color and the street art aesthetic promoted within Sharpism, Arm of Casso can take an individualistic approach when creating portraits in mixed medium methods including acrylic paint and oil-based markers. These choices are influenced by his admiration for cartoons and graffiti art which often carries bright colors across the canvas fluidly. One cannot help but be transported into a story about life when looking at Arm of Casso’s artwork. He incorporates themes of happiness, sadness, music, fashion, peace, and love all as a way to tell an honest story conveying the journeys and trials of life. Today, his work is being sold through companies like Home Goods, Target, Amazon, and Wayfair and his work has been featured in TV/Film productions such as “Creed3'' and the tv series “Atlanta.” His work can also be found locally at restaurants Apt4B and Old Lady Gang, as well as at T.I’s Trap Museum. He has showcased his work at events during Art Basel Miami and with the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. He is also very excited to have his work featured at the Universal Museum of Hip Hop, opening in 2024.
For Arm of Casso, becoming an artist was a goal of his since he was a child. He began doodling as young as first grade and vividly remembers struggling to make a detailed human face for one of his class projects. Rather than being deterred by this challenge, he preserved practicing traditional art methods until Arm of Casso developed a love for art. In middle school, he was nominated by two of his teachers to audition for a place at a Creative and Performing Arts high school. There, Antonio brought pride to his school by winning an array of art awards and attending national competitions. Within school, he developed a business with his peers who paid him to draw on their clothing, bookbags, and other personal items. After years of practicing traditional art methods, Antonio discovered his voice in intricate line work using markers and drawing on many surfaces, such as canvases, walls, cars, etc. Arm of Casso’s confidence to continue Sharpism as a style and career came from the presentation of two opportunities. The first was when a Senior Art Director at Sony Records asked Antonio to incorporate his linework in a campaign. The second was his experience working at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, where he was able to assist in curating shows for well known artists such as Kusama and the late Virgil Abloh. Because of the success from these experiences, Arm of Casso has been able to focus on his career as an artist, and flourish in the art community.
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