Antonio Lee (born Antonio Luis Winters; last name change in 1985 born July 14, 1984) is an American entrepreneur, world renowned artist, and YouTuber 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 Black 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 father Howard Lee Jr., a owner/operator of a fish & seafood store. 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 was a landlord and real estate investor and a cosmetology. 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 four girls and twin boys by four different women. He married in 2011, however, due to marital hardships, he and his wife (who he fathered two children with), 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 the universe is a reflection, whatever people see in themselves they can only see in another.” Therefore when he paints it’s to ignite conversation, discussion, and the sharing of ideas about important personal, societal/global issues to increase sustainable actions. One of his most notable pieces, “America’s Solution” now titled ‘Not the 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 private art company created by an artist, that has offered the first issuer- issued private offering under the Jobs Act. In addition regardless of the controversy surrounding and the negative opinions of certain members of the press YNoFace Holdings has made a considerable investment in Bank of America as a Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE), Bond investments in various government entities, Facebook common stock.
While Antonio Lee is an artist, entrepreneur, and investor in various public/private companies and a majority holding position in Alphabet 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.
Notable Collectors and Investors
Singapore under the leadership of PM Lee Hsien Loong and DPM Tharman S. , Rahm Emanuel for the City of Chicago, Shea Vaughn, Chris Sasha, Mayor Ashton Hayward for the City of Pensacola, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Deutsche Bank, The Rothschild Family, Alphabet under the leadership of Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Jeanie Buss for the Los Angeles Lakers, The Republic of China under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and his Office, Facebook under the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. In addition a host of other Private Collectors and Investors.
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