Antonio Lee (born Antonio Luis Winters; July 14, 1984) is an American entrepreneur, world renowned artist, and YouTube celebrity specializing in acrylic painting. He is well known for his work in the field of Scientific and Performance Art. Lee is the grandson of renowned African-American artist, Annie Lee. Lee credits inspiration to Pablo Picasso, Leonardo Da Vinci, Annie Lee, Jean Michel Basquiat and Damien Hirst.
Life and career
Antonio Lee was born in Chicago, Illinois to mother, Shirley Winters and father Howard Lee Jr., a owner/operator of a fish & seafood store. He has one sister, Marcia Richardson (Former Atlanta Hawks Cheerleader). Antonio Lee took to painting in his early adolescence after spending much time alone utilizing the craft. His biggest inspiration was his grandmother and popular artist, Annie Lee.
For the early part of Lee’s professional life he worked in the field of real estate and cosmetology, as a barber. However, he was severely injured during a case of police brutality. After much rehabilitation therapy Antonio Lee was able to regain mobility, but he is now limited in his range of motion as well as tolerance for sitting and standing.
Lee is the father of three girls. He married in 2011, however, due to marital hardships, he and his wife divorced in 2013. This injury took a toll on Lee, causing him to suffer from major depressive episodes. Lee says that it was his daughters who encouraged him to begin painting again after many years had been spent away from his craft.
Lee’s work philosophy is very much people, spiritually and universally-centered. He believes that it is “the perspectives of people that determines the meaning[s]” of his paintings, much like life. He adds that, “all perceptions of my pieces are accurate, based on the perspective of the viewer” explaining that he paints to ignite conversation and discussion, the sharing of ideas about important societal/global issues. One of his most notable pieces, “America’s Solution” is a good example of this, as it questions how the actions of present politicians and/or leaders directly affect future generations.
Other notable works include: “Matrix”, “Entrepreneur”, “‘Masquerade, classism is the problem we all face’”, “Dopamine”, “Love You”, “Daddy Daughter Day”, and “The Relationship”.
In 2009, Lee founded the YNoFace Arts Foundation in Chicago, Illinois with a “mission to utilize art by sparking creative thinking to better solve problems in our communities across the globe.” His presence on social media such as Youtube, Twitter and Facebook has allowed Lee to be recognized in more than 125 countries worldwide.
In 2013, Lee founded YNoFace Holdings, a Wisconsin company, the first art investment fund created by an artist, that has offered the first issuer- issued private offering under the Jobs Act.
While Antonio Lee is an artist and entrepreneur, he is also an advocate for mental health and combating depression, in addition to a host of other charitable causes. He has written and self-published the ebook, “Face Yourself” and illustrated the children’s book, “The Boy Who Cried CAN’T” by Camesha B. Jackson.
Antonio Lee utilizes his skills as a performance painter to contribute to charitable organizations such as the Chicago Academy of Music, Stop Child Trafficking, Healthy Initiative and Designing for Sickle Cell Anemia, and Charity Contributions.
Rahm Emanuel, Shea Vaughn, Chris Sasha, Mayor Ashton Hayward, JP Morgan Chase Bank and Deutsche Bank
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