January 14


Asbury Park’s downtown district will welcome its newest art gallery, Toxic Tins, this weekend featuring a spectrum of local artists with pieces in a variety of bold media.

Toxic Tins is the area’s first digitally-driven art gallery, leveraging the power of 12 monitors to display hundreds of photographs and multi-media pieces.

Artist XXXX Nicolou

Artist Peter Nicolaou of Ocean Township works on two pieces inside the new Toxic Tins art gallery – the area’s first digital gallery featuring 12 screens displaying works of art.

“For years, I have been thinking about the best way to spotlight my many talented and creative friends,” said John Partusch, gallery founder and owner of Gloss Salon.  “I call this the ‘everyman’s gallery’ because anyone can show their quality art here and the prices of the art are accessible to most people.  There is something for everyone at Toxic Tins.”

Postcard size prints of original works start at $6 and some poster size pieces are $99.  At most galleries, artists are chosen and gallery owners receive a commission from the sale of each piece.  Toxic Tins rents out space to talented artists that meet the criteria of a board of curators.

The concept for the digital gallery evolved from the visually-driven social media site Instagram – where many up-and-coming artist are creating a following for themselves.  In July, Partusch, owner of Gloss Salon, and his brother Joe Partusch, a photographer, spoke about translating the Instagram concept using monitors to rotate images in a gallery space.

“In that second, when he mentioned television monitors, the vision for the gallery came together,” said John Partusch.  “A few weeks later, we were building the gallery.”

The name Toxic Tins gallery worked, errr… like a brush to a canvas.

Photograph by artist Suzanne

Photograph by local artist Suzanne Spitaletta.

“Toxic Tins is the name of my car club,” said Partusch.  “But in the art and photography word, tintype photographs were special in the late 1800’s and the process was actually dangerous.  The name and the gallery were all meant to be.”

The first exhibition will feature more than 200 pieces by 21st Century outsider artists (all with an Instagram presence) including Lisa Fritts, Andrei Jackmets, Joe Matzerath, Peter Nicolaou, Joe Partusch, Brian Perry, Kristian Quistgaard, Suzanne Spitaletta, Army of Green Men and sim.pli.fy.

“My photographs reflect our connection with nature – the beauty of what exists around us,” said Spitaletta.  “I love a dramatically cloudy sky, the way a rolling fog will frame an architectural element or a beautifully designed car proudly making heads turn.”

The four bold acrylic on canvas pieces at Toxic Tins by Nicolaou shout the soulfulness and deep emotion of artist.

“I use lines, shapes, textures, colors to express my feelings of being the best that I can be and I hope that makes the viewer happy and feel great,” said Nicolaou, who began painting after the loss of his father.  “I want to pay positivity forward.  Each piece has a message of achievement, self-worth.”

Every one of the pieces on display have a compelling point-of-view and message.  From oceanscapes to black and white architectural still-lifes to angelic ballerinas performing on a darkly lit street, the work is powerful and dynamic.  Many discovered on Instagram, the talented artists are worthy of the city’s newest platform.

“Asbury Park is a city built on the arts and creativity,” said Partusch.  “Toxic Tins gallery is a new element in the fantastic world here.”

Toxic Tins Social Media Art Gallery grand opening event:  Saturday, Jan. 16, 7 to 10 pm.  608 – 612 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park. ToxicTinsArtGallery.com and on Instagram has more.