An art show “Torquato Says, Love is . . .All Around at Paliskates” will feature world-renowned, L.A.-based artist Michael Torquato deNicola. The opening will be held at Paliskates, 1021 Swarthmore, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, and is just in time for unique Valentine’s Day gifts.
There will be a DJ and drinks to celebrate the artist, surfer and environmentalist. In a September posting, Michael said, “The sensitivity and responsiveness to the environment that I developed as a surfer is part of being an artist. Because art is about feeling the world around you and trying to convey that emotional state through the artifacts you create.”
Michael has collaborated with Red Bull, Marie Claire and the Olson Company, traveling to Iceland and the Galapagos Islands for work. He said he has also traveled to remote parts of Indonesia where the natural environment is completely destroyed.
“If you walk on a deserted island, you will see vast amounts of plastic waste accumulated in the sea because of the winds and currents,” he said. “You can see our impact on the environment, and it’s terrifying.
“At the end of the day, the Ocean and Mother Nature are far greater than any of us,” Michael said. “They are a life force of our planet, and we all need to be mindful to protect our natural environment and do our best to keep it healthy, alive, and thriving.”
This new series of mixed media works is a heartfelt nod to the decades of morning coffee with his grandmother, who lived in Pacific Palisades.
Michael wrote in a 2019 story, “I first moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s. My grandpa had passed away and my grandma was living alone in a house at the beach near Topanga. I started out renting a room from her and ended up living there for 23 years.
“Most mornings, we would meet upstairs for coffee, and we’d go through the LA Times. She would start with the Sports section, and I would start with the Entertainment section. We would end up talking about our horoscopes and then she would cut out the ‘Love Is…’ comic.
“It was about 10 years ago that I first took a bunch of the comics and made a collage with them. I included my Torquato character with hearts and gave it to her for Valentine’s Day, which also happens to be her and my grandfather’s wedding anniversary.”
Michael is best known for large colorful mixed media pieces and his surf boards, often featuring his famously positive “Torquato” character. (visit: iamtorquato.com)
Several of his surfboards will also be included with the art exhibited on Paliskates walls. Art and surfboards will be available for sale until March 18.
Paliskates owner Erica Simpson said, “Michael’s messages of love and acceptance are perfectly aligned with Paliskates’ own mission. Not just a ‘skate’ store, Paliskates has been a cornerstone of the Pali community for almost 25 years, and I’m thrilled Michael has chosen to showcase his art on the walls of my store.”