Michael DeNicola- I Am Torquato
Michael Tarquato DeNicola is a award winning surfer and so many more attributes. He travels all over the world seeking the perfect wave. Checking the weather, he drives or flies for hours to be amongst mother nature at her best, and to get in that tube and ride through the ocean. Surfing is definitely an art and Michael is a multi talented artist, creative both in and out of the water.
Michael began painting at the age of 5, a talent passed down from his mother. She had him creating cards and gifts and working out his free spirit as a young child. He was raised believing the best gifts were hand made because they were more personal.
He is a man who loves challenging his mind and body and he gets a good work out from being a surfer and an artist. I will never forget the story he told me about being in the ocean, hanging out waiting for his next wave when a massive great white shark no more than a meter away glided by him. The shark looked right at him and he looked right back at the shark. Personally I would have run on the water like Jesus but not Michael. He said he knew the shark just wanted to go by and say " hey I am here". Michael did not stop surfing, he just continued to catch the waves over and over again. This is someone truly in touch with nature, which is reflected in his work.
All his art varies, as he paints on many different types of surfaces; canvas, paper, wood, doors, metals, leather bags, and my favourite, surf boards. His boards are so unique and skillfully painted, it is literally art in motion when you are gliding on one of his board in the water. He does not put a time limit on finishing a piece. He works on them gradually, and because they are so layered and he uses a variety of materials, only Michael knows when a piece is finished. He often works on several pieces at a time. Each piece is a different journey for him that is continuously unfolding. He states "At some point things come together and a certain magic comes to life and they simply make sense"
His collections differ as much in style as they do in categories. The Door collection is full of energy and life, which reflects his soul and the beauty of being at one with nature. He is truly a creature of his environment.
The Reef paintings awaken memories in me of works of Picasso, Pollock and de Kooning, with their vivid bright colours, and contrasting dark hues. I envision him alone in his studio, blaring his music as he moves from canvas to canvas, working the surface like a surfer carves a wave.
There is a symmetry in his paintings, and many bare the Torquato character. According to Michael " Tarquato is the action hero in each of us that says YES YOU CAN. The character has become a way for me to spread positivity into the world and have a good time doing it. I created Tarquato over a decade ago and I have been making stories and products ever since, with the goal of reminding people that whatever they face, they can handle it ".
Michael's work is commissioned from collectors around the world and he shows in a variety of galleries like Art Project in Maui, Amstel in NYC and Amsterdam. His pieces can be very large. He is currently working on some pieces for a Japanese collecter ( 10' by 10' and 25' by 6' ). He has had several art openings at his studio and gallery in downtown La. His last showing " Rolling Waves to Rolling Trains " on Dec 4th was a huge hit and his next exhibition " Pleased To Meet Me " on December 9th is sure to be another success.
Mr. DeNicola is always experimenting. Expect to see his cool line of t-shirts, hats, and mugs which are already in production. He sees his prints being made into sexy fabric, which in turn would be made into even sexier clothing. Michael's creativity never ends. He is always moving forward with a perpetual force and he is forever evolving, just like the waves he rides. See more of Michael's work at www.iamtorquato.com