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Dr. Nicholas Toscano AKA 1Penemy : The Street Graffiti Artist Behind The SOHO Model Lineup

Let us introduce you to board-certified Periodontist and New York Celebrity Surgeon Dr. Nicholas Toscano. Dr. Toscano is currently the official dentist for roughly 25 modeling agencies in NYC and LA including Lions, Wilhelmina, One Model Management, Marilyn, Storm, Major models, Fusion, and others. His clients include some of the most famous models in the world including Victoria’s Secret models, Candice Swanepoel, Helena Christensen, Jasmine Tookes, Romee Strijd, Josephine Skriver.  His smiles also include High fashion models Andreja Pejic, Vittoria Ceretti, Bambi Northwood Blyth, Greta Varlese, and other stars like Real Housewives of NYC, Sonja Morgan and Countess Luann de Lesseps.

Dr. Nicholas Toscano spent 13-years with the United States Navy, where he completed a General Practice Residency at the prestigious Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, “The President’s Hospital” in Bethesda, MD. During his time in the Navy, he received two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, a National Defense Service Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Medal. He acquired one of his Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for definitive life-saving treatment of a patient. 

Dr. Toscano went on to obtain his Periodontal Certification from the Naval Postgraduate Dental School in Bethesda, MD, and his M.S. degree from George Washington University. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and the International Congress of Implantologists. He has written over 30 papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals on the subject of surgical therapy, cosmetic, and reconstruction of the mouth. 

We were surprised to learn that smiles aren’t the only thing Dr. Nicholas Toscano is famous for. He is also a world famous street artist know as 1Penemy (stands for #1 public enemy)

Dr. Toscano who balances applied science with countless client-tailored artistic smile reconstructions, makeovers, and recreations it was all to nature for Dr. Toscano would dive deeper into his artistic side

He was heavily influenced and inspired by his famous artist patients he treats, such as Bradley Theodore, Jeremy Penn, Layer Cake, Tripp Derrick Barnes, BY Flore, Producer BDB, and many others. Through their influence he began creating his model-based street and graffiti art in April of 2016. Originally Dr. Toscano’s street graffiti revolved around well-known models that he grew up following, like Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Brooke Shields, and Stephanie Seymour. He has now rendered his work to showcase modern models like Bella Hadid, Alessandra Ambrosia, Kendall Jenner, Helena Christensen, and Adriana Lima. From these models he created Mugshots known as the SOHO Model Lineup.

Initially, Dr. Toscano kept his artistic street graffiti under the radar, but people started to take notice of his artwork on the streets of SoHo and began reposting pictures of his art via social media. His art Instagram @1penemy grew, and models all over are posing in front of the notable SOHO model line up street work installations that are all over NYC. What makes his artwork so striking is his skilful use of artistic influence. The primary use of colour and distinctively repetitive aesthetic of 1Penemy’s street displays gives a nod to Andy Warhol’s pop iconic art. This influence is also evident in 1Penemy’s choice of subject – where Warhol’s work is built upon popular symbols, such as Zedong Mao and cans of Campbell soup, 1Penemy focuses on both modern icons and the original supermodels of the ’90s.

Warhol’s most highly-priced and prominent pieces featured female celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe, Liza Minelli, Liz Taylor, Debbie Harry, and Joan Collins. His work explored the shallowness of fame and the sensationalism of death – highlighting a society that considered women to be products rather than human beings.

1Penemy’s street art embraces this spirit by degrading his high-profile female subjects, not only by featuring them in a mugshot and displaying them in “lineup”, but also by wheat pasting them like “wanted” posters in back alleys and on graffitied walls. It’s a forceful statement about society’s perception of women – holding them to an unrealistic standard of perfection and shaming them to an unbridled degree for falling short.

Another artist whose work makes an uncomfortable commentary on society is Damien Hirst. He’s produced the most expensive work of art ever created – a diamond-encrusted human skull entitled “For the Love of God.” It features the most prominent symbol of death contrasted with the most conspicuous symbol of desire and luxury. It’s an odd combination of beauty and vulgarity.

1Penemy’s SOHO model lineup achieves something very similar, placing the ultimate symbol of glamour and perfection in a context that represents society’s greatest failings. The effect is striking, creating a vague sense of discomfort in the viewer that speaks to our innate recognition of injustice. Some of 1Penemy’s more grotesque variations, such as those featuring the makeup of Marvel’s Joker villain, emphasize this even more – speaking to the fact that women are not only expected to accept the status quo but should grin and bear it as well.

Perhaps it’s due to the countless women with whom he keeps company, coupled with the fact that he has a beautiful young daughter of his own, but 1Penemy has a surprising insight into the hardships faced by women. He skillfully uses his artwork to make a strong statement about those difficulties by juxtaposing glamorous supermodels with the abasement of a police lineup.

It’s poignant that 1Penemy makes use of a mugshot in his work, as doing so implies humiliation and shame for the subject – even going so far as to brand the subject with implications of guilt. It’s an array of feelings and connotations that afflict far too many women, partly due to unkind and pervasive labels given to those who don’t meet the unfair and deeply entrenched standards set by society and culture.

Supermodels are by no means exempt from this judgement, perfect as they may seem, since they frequently receive harsh criticism and scrutiny regarding their appearance – both in a physical sense and in terms of their conduct and achievements. It’s 1Penemy’s extreme contrast of high glamour and acute indignity that highlights how severe and yet subtle this problem is, despite the advances that have been made in gender equality so far.

Today, in collaboration with other street artists, he’s planning a gallery show to benefit organizations that assist in diminishing women’s struggles, such as Model Alliance and the Me Too Movement. Currently, a portion of the profits from the sale of his artworks also benefits the same organizations. He also donates artwork to charity auctions that champion other causes, including children’s hospitals and programs to save the arts in New York City.

For more information on his future gallery show and sale, check his art Instagram @1penemy or his doctor page @drtoscanodds.

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