The Glue Behind Obsidian Fine Art

Mandy Joy's "Fortress of Fear." Photo courtesy of Obsidian Fine Art Facebook.

Mandy Joy’s “Fortress of Fear.” Photo courtesy of Obsidian Fine Art Facebook.

Great friendships don’t always make great partnerships, but in the case of Steve Anthony and Mandy Joy, great friendships make a great gallery. Obsidian Fine Art, a new gallery in the Arts Factory, made its debut on Friday. Upon viewing their works, you’ll notice a synergy, a creative chemistry at work. This vibe represents year’s in the making.

“[Mandy] was one of the initial people that I wanted to partner up with in the beginning,” says Anthony, who’s been painting for 19 years now. “Things didn’t line up fully at that time, [but then] everything just kind of happened. She said she was totally willing, and I was like, ‘I would choose you over anybody else.’”

Declarations like this don’t come lightly to Anthony. He and Joy’s friendship has progressed far beyond just the commonality of art. It’s a breathing, ongoing bond.  “We’re friends,” he says. “Her and her husband … we live in the same neighborhood. We went to Zion together a couple years back. …  When you have someone step up and you kind of owe your loyalty to [them], it takes precedence.”

Work by Steve Anthony | Photo courtesy of Facebook

Work by Steve Anthony | Photo courtesy of Facebook

The two met by happenstance at a winter arts competition in North Las Vegas a few years ago. Anthony received a painting award a grade above the one Joy had gotten, but she carried on as a good sport, congratulating him. He returned the favor by inviting her to come check out the Arts District Downtown.

“I thought okay, this is a little too good to be true. What’s his game? But he was just a nice guy,” says Joy, who’s been painting full-time now for three years, but has worked in art for the majority of her life. “I got down there the next day. It was preview Thursday. I talked to Jana [Lynch] and ended up getting signed on as an artist in her gallery [Jana’s RedRoom] that evening.”

Since then, Joy has regarded Anthony as her mentor.

“I’ve seen the way that he layers things, and the way he does his paintings in his progress photos. So I look through those sometimes, because I think that he’s an excellent, excellent painter,” she says. “I have taken some techniques of his under painting into my art that I didn’t do before.”

Joy mainly uses acrylic paint because it dries quickly and allows for layering. Her most recent work you’ll see is, “Fortress of Fear,” a dark, Disneyland dreamscape, which separates itself from her fall-toned pieces in both color and technique—an airbrush came in handy for this one. Anthony, on the other hand, prefers painting with traditional oils, which lends itself to slower drying times. Anthony’s work seems to leap off the canvas like a three-dimensional animal. He notes their styles especially complement each other when it comes to the use of dark color palettes and themes. That’s what he says inspired the name of Obsidian Fine Art.

The space, situated on the second floor of the Arts Factory, is still incredibly fresh. But Anthony says he’s already got high hopes for making adjustments, such as creating more visibility space if the building’s management allows it. If it doesn’t happen, he’s not too worried. The connectivity he and Joy share will be enough to carry Obsidian through.

“We definitely vibe on each other’s energy. I think it’ll be an increased vibe for sure. Especially if we’ll be here at the same time on certain days, ” he says. “We just pick right up off of each other.”

Obsidian Fine Art

In the Arts Factory, Suite. 240,

Vegas Seven