Born in Italy in 1972, Michele Castagnetti spent his formative years in Rome, studied graphic design in Milan and received a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in New York. He has won awards in graphic design, photography and filmmaking. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles where his work has appeared in numerous exhibitions curated by notable curators and art critics such as Anuradha Vikram, Mat Gleason, Peter Frank, and The Los Angeles Times art critic David Pagel.
“Michele Castagnetti allows plenty of wit into his work, but he’s serious about the spirit and method he has inherited from his Futurist forebears. Wanting his work to be at the same time elegant and off-putting, he makes pictorial and production decisions that defy and yet speak in the language of high art, and that ape popular visual forms without disappearing into them. Something of a “newbrow” abstractionist, Castagnetti has his cake – baked in a Futurist kitchen – and eats it, too.” – Peter Frank, Art Critic / Curator
“Michele Castagnetti uses familiar iconography, branding, and humor to comment on American consumerism. He creates playful, tongue-in-cheek narratives that challenge the viewer to question prevailing norms. Castagnetti is an Italian transplant and he finds America inspiring for artists because of the many paradoxes in American culture. As Castagnetti says, “you’ll have a homeless man passed out next to a Lamborghini.” It’s a land of extremes that gives Castagnetti fuel for his artistic commentaries. Castagnetti’s gun-toting American Jesus is very different from the Catholic iconography of his youth. His Jesus the Hunter envisions a literal modern-day Christian soldier. Castagnetti’s work is incisive but he doesn’t take himself or his art too seriously. He invites the viewer to look a bit deeper at the things that we take as fact and see as commonplace, while poking fun at the absurdity of life.” – Hilary Chapman, Curator