My studio work and my underwater work both stem from the same place within my soul, but they go in different directions and have different purposes. One is a journey inward while the other is a journey outward.
For the first 20 years of my life as an artist when I enter the studio to paint or sculpt it becomes a journey inward. It is an inward journey to find a simple truth about a feeling or emotion. I hope to create works that are simple truths. I want the viewer to say "this work understands what I am feeling". I want this to happen without words or definitions. I want it to happen deep within the viewer on a subconscious or primal level.
My purpose in going underwater and drawing a cave or shipwreck is not to make a great piece of art. It is rather to document an event. To accomplish this, I make an effort to remove myself from the art. I wish to become a direct observer. I want to draw just what I see, not what I want to see, nor what I think I see. It is quite opposite from a studio work because it is an effort not to draw from within, but rather to use my talents and direct observation to document these events.
Illustrations for stories not yet told…
These paintings represent an aesthetic concept where the viewer is invited to participate in the artistic process.
In all these paintings, Michael Angelo has created a character, environment and symbolic subliminal imagery. In addition, the artwork is titled with a caption to the story it is representing. This is a moment frozen in time, a vignette, a Roth blot in which the artist gives no further explanation than what is visually presented.
The viewer is asked to look at this imagery and create its story. The viewer is not made to be a passive by product of the artistic process, but rather an active element that gives meaning to the work.
As with a Roth blot, no two viewers will create exactly the same story. The meaning of the artwork is therefore also different from viewer to viewer.
Michael Angelo Gagliardi was born in New York City in 1962 to Irish and Italian Parents. He received a B.F.A. in painting and sculpture and a M.A. in Theatrical Design from C.W. College of Long Island University in 1985.
Michael Angelo became a certified scuba diver in 1996. He has since received certifications in technical diving including Full Cave and Technical Gas Certifications. He began drawing the wet world almost immediately after he began diving.
Michael Angelo continues to explore many different styles of drawing. As his dive skills changes and developed so did his drawing style. The way he saw the wet world on his first dive, differs greatly from his 400th dive, so too has the way he draws changed. He has a particular fascination with the caves and springs of Florida and the shipwrecks of the Great Lakes. His was honored when he was chosen to be a diver/artist aboard the 2002 USS Monitor expedition which raised the gun turret. He made multiple dives and drawings of that famous ship.
He has, since 1989, lived in Chicago where he works as a Stagehand doing sets, lights and props for Broadway Musicals. He has a non-diving wife and two children who continue to be entertained by his stories from a Wet World.
Artist emerging from Roubidoux Springs
Michael Angelo Gagliardi
Home phone: 773-282-7114
Cell phone: 773-531-4993