Abstract Painter (mixed media)
Mike Baggetta’s abstract expressionist paintings are an evolution from his years of drawing and painting, his formal art training, and his professional design background. It is evident that his experience has shaped the direction of his work. Mike was born in New Jersey and grew up in Virginia where his fascination for the visual world was first nourished. His family moved to Southern California in the early 70’s. Mike worked part time for Disneyland where his talent and drive were recognized by the Disney staff. In 1980 he was asked to join the creative team being formed for the Tokyo Disneyland project. Continuing to pursue creative challenges, he left what had become a lucrative position to attend the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. After graduating from the Art Center College of Design, Mike quickly developed a reputation as a leading graphic designer and art director. He opened his own design studio, Baggetta & Associates, creating video packaging, posters, catalogs and print advertising materials for many of the top movie studios in Hollywood.
In 1993 Mike moved north to Portland, Oregon, with his wife and their two sons. The combination of the diverse beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the vibrant arts community motivated him to reconnect with drawing and painting. Almost immediately Mike had a resonant connection with the abstract genre, finding a voice in the exuberant layering of paint in the abstract expressionist realm. It is evident that his background strongly informs his work with a clarity of design and color.
I’m fascinated with the physicality of paint and the juxtaposition of texture and color to create compositions that are both dynamic and highly poetic. Each of my pieces begins as a field of textured color and is subsequently layered with additional color and texture. Generally a piece will let me know when it is finished. I allow the unexpected to happen and that can completely change the original direction of the artwork. Through these simple compositions and rich layering of paint and texture, the painting speaks beyond culture and time.