Joseph Micacchione, an up-and-coming abstract artist, will showcase his pandemic-era paintings at Scott Antique Markets this week – for the first time ever. We recently caught up with the gay Georgia native to introduce you to him and his distinct body of work.
PEACH ATLANTA: You’re originally from Carrollton, Georgia, and this month your work will be installed at Scott Antique Markets in Atlanta. How has your personal southern experience influenced your work?
JOSEPH MICACCHIONE: I would say my southern upbringing had less of an influence on my creative style when it comes to artwork, however, while in Elementary school I was introduced to my first creative mentor who inspired me to be creative and express myself in the first place. In elementary school, I attended an afterschool program for students with parents who worked beyond school hours. Mr. Gerald Bird ran that program – “The 3 O’Clock Groove” – and always spoke to us with messages of encouragement. This included fostering an environment to explore, try new things, and remain fearless in our pursuits. He was my favorite part of afterschool and a treasured memory. Mr. Bird remains in my life and has been a huge support throughout this journey.
PA: You pivoted from a regional advisor consultant in the wholesale industry for a leading asset management firm to a full-time artist during the pandemic. What was the ultimate catalyst for this leap of faith, and how has it impacted you mentally, emotionally, and financially?
JM: I’ve struggled with depression. When COVID hit, certainly it was exacerbated and anxiety was layered on top of the depression. I’m not sure what triggered this exactly, but I started to paint. And I continued to paint. Many people have talked about the ‘silver lining’ of the pandemic. Discovering – or uncovering – my passion and talent for painting is certainly my light at the end of the tunnel. Along the way, I rescued Roscoe, my sweet dog, and best friend, and I left my career in asset management to pursue my study as an artist full time. And here, I’ve landed.
PA: Tell us a bit about the process of an abstract artist like yourself.
JM: I know this is going to sound really cliché but I truly let the paint guide me through the creation of a piece. Typically I have an idea of techniques I will use – size, color palette, etc. However, once I start painting, there are many times that the end vision I started out within my head gets tossed out the window. A huge driver of my creativity is experimentation. I like to use painting mediums that are not traditionally thought of as art supplies. Things like foaming dish soap, rubbing alcohol, kitchen utensils. When I’m experimenting, I have no idea how those items will react/interact with the paint or the canvas so I had to become very comfortable with not always knowing what direction a piece will take me.
PA: What are your goals as a commercial artist? What’s one milestone you’d like to achieve?
JM: One of the biggest goals I have for 2022 is to be represented by a reputable gallery in New York City. The New York art market is incredibly competitive. If I can get into a gallery there, the number of doors that will open for me will be endless. As for a long-term goal – I’d love to own my own gallery space one day. A place where I can create, showcase my work, and also represent other artists in the LGBTQ+ community.
PA: Our readers will be particularly interested in your piece “Split Male.” Where can they view and/or purchase that piece?
JM: If any of your readers would like to view this piece, they can schedule a private showing by filling out a comment form on my website at JPMicacchione.com. I will also bring the piece to my booth at Scott Antique Markets, February 10 to 13.