Michael Angelo was born and raised on the East Coast where he sold his first painting in a bar on St. Mark’s Place at the age of 17.Though heavily influenced by the Neo-Expressionist style, Michael Angelo has spent his early career ardently pursuing the creation of art in an impressive range of techniques, styles and forms. Career highlights include creating an alternative space in New York City in the mid 1980’s called The Revolving Door Gallery, in1989 he moved to Chicago where he continued working as a professional scenic artist and stage craftsperson in off Broadway, then touring the country with Broadway musicals such as Showboat, Titanic, Peter Pan, The Lion King, The Color Purple ending with Disney’s Mary Poppins.
In 1996, Michael Angelo’s career took an adventurous turn when he became a certified scuba diver with technical certifications including Full Cave and Advance Trimix. The ocean depths and its mystical caves have been the most inspirational of all muses and as such, a whole new career has been birthed and with it some of his most important works.
An important figure on the scene of conservation and in particular cave restoration, Michael Angelo was chosen to be a diver/artist aboard the 2002 USS Monitor Expedition, which raised the gun turret and has work featured in history books and dive guides. In 2009, in North Central Florida, he was the first person to successfully restore a vandalized underwater cave. Working 700’ in and 70’ down in a high current Michael Angelo restored a multiple layer/color clay bank to its original glory. Since then, Michael Angelo has done four more restorations including reconstructing a smashed whale bone vertebra using environmentally safe epoxy. This restoration was completed 100’ down and 2,200’ into the cave system. In all restorations, Michael Angelo was assisted by multiple divers acting as safety divers and documenters.
He continued for most of his adult life to work professionally in theatre. In 2009, while working on the National Tour of the Broadway Musical "Mary Poppins" he was in an on the job accident which resulted in a permanent back/spine injury. August 2011 he was classified as disabled and retired. Since 2009 he lives in constant pain but continues to go to physical therapy and make his life go on. He considers himself lucky that he is still able to make his art even though the pain makes it difficult to concentrate on his work. With the help of his friends and his family he can still gain inspiration and create his artwork.
“In the end, this is what artist are, in our most basic form, We are all story tellers. It is my hope that by telling someone stories with my art, I can provoke some new thoughts or feelings. To touch someone’s soul. Maybe by doing this, I will have earned the honor of inspiring other artists."
Michael Angelo Gagliardi
Art Flows Like Water
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