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 Joseph Michetti  (1934 - )

About: Joseph Michetti
 

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: painting, photo-real still-life, autos, motorcycles

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Inspired by anything from a shiny motorcycle engine to an old board game to the Saturday comics, self-taught artist Joseph Michetti paints commonplace scenes and objects he finds readily available in his own environment.

The challenge is to get people's attention by presenting these familiar subjects in an unusual and interesting way. For Michetti, that means bringing viewers up-close-and-personal in his hyper- photorealistic landscapes and still lifes to show them the appeal in objects they might ordinarily ignore. A lot of people don't realize how fascinating everday objects can be when you get really close up to them. He says: "They have a beauty of their own."

To capture that beauty, Michetti carries a 35mm camera with him everywhere he goes. Using a macro lens for taking close-up shots, he typically begins composing his paintings even as he''s looking at the subject through his camera lens. By imagining the confines of the viewfinder as the edges of his canvas, he's able to make decisions about composition, reflective light and color balance before he snaps the first reference photo.

Sometimes Michetti takes three rolls of film of one subject and still finds nothing he can use once he gets back to the studio. At other times he'll take one shot of something interesting, almost as an afterthought, and that will be the one he develops into a painting. Such was the case with the reference photo for Memories, a single shot of a classic car he spotted sitting outside Mel's Diner at Universal Studios theme park in Florida.

Once he has chosen the photo that best captures his subject, Michetti transfers the 3x5 or 4x6 image onto his canvas with an opaque projector. Using a graphite pencil, he draws all of the rough shapes and basic elements directly onto his painting surface. To add the subject''s intricate details, he has the same photo enlarged to an 8x12 size and refers to that image when copying those finer elements to the drawing.

At this stage, Michetti also makes adjustments to his composition, adding or editing out detail. For example, the reference photo for Saturday Morning showed the marbles spilling out of a small canvas bag. But to make the design of the painting more interesting, he eliminated the sack, added a couple of marbles in the upper right corner for balance and even rearranged the story boxes in the comic strip.

After he's completed the drawing, Michetti washes the entire canvas with mineral spirits so he won't pick up any graphite when he's painting. Then he begins to add color to the background areas. In "Memories", he wanted to focus interest on the car so he used subdued colors in a limited value range for the restaurant's windows and outside walls.

Working methodically from dark to light, background to foreground, Michetti typically completes each element of his painting before moving on. It necessary, he may go back and alter colors or modify elements to keep the overall piece balanced. For instance, after painting the ''56 Ford Crown Victoria in Memories, he had to make the background colors even darker so the car would really stand out.

Fascinated by creating the illusion of reflective surfaces, Michetti always saves those areas of the painting for last. In Memories, he created the appearance of shiny surfaces by simply painting mirror images of the surrounding objects onto the windows and car. "Painting glass and chrome is like adding the finishing cream to my paintings," he says.

Since he begins with a completed drawing of the image, Michetti knows he's finished when the entire canvas has been painted. Once he has added color to the last element, he puts away his brushes to avoid overworking the piece.

In the end, Michetti hopes he has created something people will enjoy looking at-something that may inspire them to take another look at objects they see every day. "I used to paint a lot of elaborate Manhattan street scenes, but now I like to stop and take a closer look at my surroundings," he says. "Like my life, I want to make my art more simple now."

Joseph Michetti was born and raised in New York City. He married and settled in East Meadow, Long Island. Joe is a graduate of the School of Industrial Arts in Manhattan. Although he studied advertising art, he is a self-taught oil painter. Joe considers himself a photorealist, using small brushes and a lot of patience, sometimes taking four months to create his contemporary scenes or still lifes. His work usually includes sunlight and shadows, vibrant colors against dark and reflections. He enjoys painting gleaming chrome, crystal and glass.

Joe uses the best canvasses and the finest oils, creating paintings to last hundreds of years. Perhaps his ancestor, Francesco Paolo Michetti (1851-1929), a famous Italian painter, inspired his passion for Art.<

Joe and his paintings have appeared on L.I. News 12 Television and Manhattan's Cable 16. His work has been featured on the cover of "Sunshine Artist Magazine", a national publication, and has been praised in the "NY Times Art Review" and "Newsday". His paintings have been reproduced as limited editions and posters, receiving many prestigious awards in shows and gallery exhibitions throughout New York and Long Island.

Joe has exhibited at the Heckscher Museum, the Nassau County Museum of Art, the Vanderbilt Museum, Sands Point Reserve and the Salmagundi Club.


Source:
Submitted February 2004 by Rhino International Art


Biography from Sunflower Fine Art Galleries, Mirrors, & Picture F:
Joseph Michetti is a graduate of the School of Industrial Arts in Manhattan.  Although he studied advertising art, he is a self-taught oil painter.  He considers himself a contemporary realist, using small brushes and a lot of patience, sometimes taking four months to create his contemporary scenes or still lifes.  His work usually includes sunlight and shadows, vibrant colors against dark and reflections, and he enjoys painting gleaming chrome, crystal and glass.

He uses quality canvasses and the finest oils with the intention of creating paintings to "last hundreds of years."  Perhaps his ancestor, Francesco Paolo Michetti (1851 - 1929), a famous Italian painter, inspired his passion of Art.

Joe Michetti and his paintings have appeared on L.I. News 12 Television and Manhattan's Cable 16.  His work has been featured on the cover of Dan's Papers, Sunshine Artist Magazine, a national publication, and the Artists Magazine, and has been praised in the New York Times Art Review and Newsday.

Exhibition History:
Heckscher Museum
Nassau County Museum of Art
Vanderbilt Museum
Sands Point Reserve
Salmagundi Club
Sunflower Fine Art Gallery 2003-2009

Collections:
Fuji Bank, Japan
Citigroup, NYC
Supporting Cast, NYC

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