Grandson of Anton Podue, a slav fisherman immigrant to San Pedro, and son of Nick Podue, a local Marine Clerk and artist, native San Pedran Tony Podue learned to see and represent life as it is. Tony began his interest in art at a very early age, when he used to sit and watch his father recreate the spectacular views of the harbor area. Showing such a devout interest, his mentor provided paint, brush, and canvas to enable him to complete his first oil painting at the age of 6. He entered his first art competition as a sophomore in high school and took the top prize. As a senior of San Pedro High School, Tony is the only artist to win first place in both painting and photography in the school’s annual art show. He also won several awards in local and national painting and photography competitions that same year.
As Tony moved on with life he pushed art off to become a backseat hobby for more than two decades, although his desire to create art remained strong. But over the years there seemed to be more availability to pursue the more artistic past time. His father had served as the vice president of San Pedro Art Association for several years and continually encouraged Tony to join the Association. Before his passing in 1999, he provided Tony with a membership subscription to the Association for his birthday. This rekindled Tony’s artistic juices and gave him the excuse he needed to return to paints on a more continual basis.
The comradely and encouragement of fellow artists, feedback from viewers, and having success in a number of the exhibits and shows he entered re-ignited his enthusiasm in art that he had as a youth. He has worked in all mediums, but prefers acrylics and oils because of their vibrant colors and infinite palettes. He has always had a passion for capturing actual images of his life, and feels he gets the greatest challenge and satisfaction from recreating on canvas what appears to the naked eye. Tony is best known for his preferred style that is commonly classified as ‘photo-realism.’