Torquato Loves You Baby

We are big fans of Michael deNicola's work AND of Stoked Mentoring, so we were psyched to have the opportunity to support both in the same night at the Torquato Loves You Baby event in LA.  With Michael's artistic additions, the Loomstate tees were a big hit!  We chatted with the artist to learn a little bit more about what inspires him, where he likes to surf, and who his signature little man is.

Artistic medium of choice? 
Mixed - anything and everything... there's inspiration all around and I paint on all sorts of stuff and use all sorts of materials... 

How did you find your way from a surf career into the art world?
For me surfing and art go hand in hand and are quite similar in that they both require being completely present in the moment and fluid in the moment to work. 

Does the ocean often find its way into your artwork?
Yeah the ocean finds it way into my work and is a huge inspiration, not just because I love to ride waves. It reminds me daily that we are all connected and that there are cycles in life, patterns and rhythms  that effect us all.  

This was your first solo exhibit?
Yes, this was my first solo show and it appears to have been a success... Lot's of people came out and had a good time, some kind things were said about the work which feels nice. We raised a lot of awareness for a couple of great causes and lots of work sold so we were able to contribute funds as well.

What's the story behind the little guy?
The story behind the Torquato character is two fold. First, Torquato is my middle name and it was my Grandfather's first name, Italiano... It turns out when you research the name, it's not defined. On the other side, I first started working with this character about 10 years ago. I named it Torquato and defined it as 'an action hero.'  The message here that it is in us all to do great things and contribute. Wherever you see this character, there is a cause or charity that's benefitting.

How did you get involved in Stoked?
Stoked Mentoring  is a  great organization which mentors kids through action sports. Surfing has been great in my life on so many levels and I've seen how it's affected so many others in a positive way as well. Sal Masakela, who's a good bud, introduced me to the organization and the first time I showed any of my artwork in NYC was for a Stoked charity event at Milk Studios. This was several years ago. Some amazing things came of that event and so fast forward a few years and when I was given my first solo show out here in LA, I felt it was a great place to contribute back to. 

Did your guests like the Loomstate tees?!
I know for a fact that the Loomstate tees and graphics were well received!! I don't have to speculate here (again sorry I didn't get this back to you before the event..) People love them. The most comfortable shirts ever with some cool graphics for an amazing cause... come on, what's not to love!

Any other events on the horizon?
Yeah, there are more shows and events on the near horizon... the next is a mural I'm doing for the Dogtown Coffee shop here in Santa Monica. It's a collage of 70's surf / skate / beach and lifestyle images.. it should be a pretty fun project. 

Favorite wave?
My favorite wave.... hmmm, kinda a tough one because there are so many amazing options out there... My favorite wave is the last one of the day which peels all the way to the beach just as the sun sets.

Thanks Michael!

No comments: