While finishing his college as a Business major at UP, Tony already showed a keen interest in Art when he took Upper Humanities courses for his free electives. Through the lectures of his teacher, artist Brenda Fajardo, he discovered his fascination for modern art. While pursuing his MBA in Los Angeles at USC, Tony was exposed to vibrant and innovative modern art and design scene there, which at that time (early 80’s) was replacing New York as the source of the new trends and movements. Inspired by his visits to the numerous museums and galleries there as well as in New York, Tony began doing abstract works and sketches on his own as an outlet from the stresses of a fast-paced upwardly-mobile lifestyle.
After 5 years working in the US, Tony moved to Surabaya, Indonesia to work for a rattan furniture-making company as marketing manager. There he learned the fundamentals of furniture design from the Cebuano craftsmen the company had hired to train the Indonesian workers. Upon his return to the Philippines in the early 90’s Tony began designing and manufacturing metal furniture and accessories such as candleholders, candelabras and lamps at a time when it was not yet fashionable. He also learned how to do basic finishes such as verdigris and gold-leaf specified by his clients and the stores where his pieces were for sale.
In 1996, Tony enrolled in a six-month workshop at Ricco Renzo Gallery where he learned the basics of abstraction including techniques on media and coloration from master painter Gerry Ingco, after which he immediately did a 3-man show with gallery owner Paulito Garcia and his teacher Ingco. When Tony turned 50, he did his first one-man show at Ricco Renzo which featured semi-figurative, abstract and collage works based on the music of his famous singer-composer brother Ogie Alcasid, which was a sellout hit.
Since then, Tony has had 2 one-man shows at the family’s ancestral home in Taal, Batangas, Casa Conchita, which has become a bed and breakfast cum gallery. The first one featured watercolors of the various heritage homes and venerable “bahay na bato” and other historic edifices around Taal town. The second one also featured watercolors, this time of his cartoon-like renditions of old family photos from his Grandaunts’ collection. In December of 2016, he did his latest 2-man show with Tagaytay-based artist Popo San Pascual, again at Casa Conchita, on classic Mother and Child interpretations and various iconic Madonnas from local and foreign churches, as tribute to the Blessed Mother.
Tony considers foreign Art genuises Henri Matisse, Juan Miro’, Roy Liechtenstein, Mark Rothko and Julian Schnabel and local greats such as Arturo Luz, Fernando Zobel, Romulo Olazo, Betsy Westendorp and Phyllis Caballero as his heroes but is feeling that as he approaches his 60’s, he is finally beginning to find his own artistic voice.