““I’m very old fashioned. Though I’m interested in most of the new art, painting remains for me a very physical thing, an involvement with a tangible feeling of sensation” Richard Diebenkorn ” Ditto by Michael Cardillo
Michael Cardillo was born in East Orange New Jersey in 1960. Cardillo is predominantly an abstract painter in mixed media. Cardillo was educated at Pratt Institute and graduated with a painting major in 1982. While at Pratt he was the recipient of the Ford Foundation Award in 1980 and 1981. He was awarded third place prize in the juried senior exhibition in 1982. After graduation Cardillo pursued his interest in philosophy and theology and attended Westminster Theological Seminary working towards a Masters of Religion.
Cardillo began experimenting with roofing materials while attending Pratt. He uses roof cement and asphalt roof coating as the base for most of his work. He paints over the asphalt with layers of enamel and traditional oil paints in various states of the asphalts hardening. The asphalt provides a textured topographical feel. Earthy green and browns bleed through the paint leaving it’s presence on each additional layer of paint.
“I’m very old fashioned. Though I’m interested in most of the new art, painting remains for me a very physical thing, an involvement with a tangible feeling of sensation” Richard Diebenkorn
While there is a symbolic aspect to the asphalt; primordial ooze, a petroleum product the engine of the modern world, Cardillo approaches making art in a less conceptual and more blue collar manner. Work and reworking, repentance marks of pentimenti, the term for when an artist has second thoughts, redoing part of a painting, but leaving traces of what has gone before.
Landscape, natural and the manmade, the memory of place are recurring themes. Cardillo’s memory of the landscape of Perth Amboy New Jersey, a town midpoint between his home in the inner city and the beach he frequented with his family as a boy, is the basis for his “Perth Amboy” Series. He remembers the contrast of the industry and oil refineries and the first signs of the ocean landscape.