Surf Meets Art: Malibu Mag

A GLIMPSE INTO THE VIBRANT WORLD OF AWARD-WINNING SURFER TURNED ARTIST MIKE ‘TORQUATO’ DENICOLA.

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By the age of 19, Mike ‘Torquato’ DeNicola was already surfing for the US team. Later on in his life, the surfer-turned-artist would have his work appear in Marie Claire, FOX, NBC, and Fuel TV. But it all started seven years earlier, in his hometown of Orange County when Torquato first fell in love with the sport of surfing. His passion soon turned competitive leading him to become High School League Champion and then later State Collegiate Champion. After graduating college, it was a no-brainer for the surf enthusiast to go pro.

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“I was competing with the US National Team at the time and winning on that level as well. I turned pro after college and did the US Pro Tour and traveled internationally through the 90s,” he said.

As the first pro surfer from the US team to graduate from college, Torquato was able to learn how to balance his athletic pursuits with his increasing desire for creative expression. While Torquato has always designed the artwork on his boards, it wasn’t until he started competing internationally that his work developed into the unique style he is known for today. His boards tell the story of his relationship with oceans from all around the globe. His large, colorful mixed media pieces resonate the same fluidity found in his surf style through a layered collage of rhythms, patterns, and forms.

I“I describe myself as a ‘modern primitive artist,'” Torquato said. “My work is based on observations and reflections of nature. It’s often colorful and rhythmic, I often think of my work as visual poetry. Over the years my life experience and techniques have developed, as well as my eye and the processes with which I use to create the work. It’s an ongoing exploration and pursuit to create work that inspires and motivates the viewer, as well as myself, towards something greater.”

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As an artist, Torquato has had quite a successful career already. Some of his favorite ventures have come from working with Marie Claire, The Olson Company and creating and producing Red Bull’s ‘5X’ series. Aside from that, the artist and filmmaker also produced the award-winning surf documentary, The Westsiders and most recently the feature film Chapter and Verse which was released in early 2017. His visual artwork has appeared in countless galleries, art fairs, film festivals and TV screens around the world over the past 20 years.

Even as a busy and successful artist, Mike’s passion for surfing is still very much present in his life today.

“I’m now a 50-year-old surfer, and I love to surf,” he said. “It’s in my blood, and along with my art, it’s what makes me tick. I’m still learning and growing, and it keeps my spirit young, curious, excited and engaged. It helps to balance my life, my work, my health, my priorities. This is what surfing is to me.” MM

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Michael Torquato DeNicola: Oceans

A new Film by Eric Minh Swenson.

Michael Torquato deNicola is a world traveling and award winning surfer, artist and filmmaker.

Mike grew up making sense of the world through surfing and art. Born and raised in Southern California, he is a lifelong surfer with much of his inspiration coming from the Ocean and his experiences around the globe in locations such as Indonesia, Iceland, Samoa, Peru, The Galapagos Islands and more.

Mike started surfing at the age of 12 and was competing with the US team by age 19. As the first pro surfer from the US team to graduate from College, he learned to negotiate between his athletic and creative pursuits and the business of surf.

Mike has always designed the work on his surfboards, but it was only when he started traveling and competing internationally that his work developed into the style it is today. Mike’s boards tell the story of his relationship with the Oceans from around the globe. If Mike’s surf style can be called fluid his large and colorful mixed media pieces resonate the same fluidity in a layered collage of rhythms, patterns, and forms.

Some of his favorite ventures have come from working with Marie Claire, The Olson Company and creating and producing Red Bull’s ‘5X’ series, seen on FOX, NBC and Fuel TV which feature a new format of competitive surfing. Mike produced and art directed the award-winning documentary ‘The Westsiders’ and most recently the feature film ‘Chapter and Verse’ to be released early 2017.

Mikes visual works have appeared in galleries, art fairs, film festivals and  TV screens around the world over the past 20 years.

For more info on Eric Minh Swenson visit his website at thuvanarts.com. His art films can be seen at thuvanarts.com/take1

Instagram : @ericminhswenson

Eric Minh Swenson also covers the international art scene and his writings and photo essays can be seen at Huffington Post Arts: http://m.huffpost.com/us/author/eric-…

When Tracks and Wakes Cross.

A Quiet Lunch Interview with So-Cal Artist Michael Torquato de Nicola.

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When Wakes and Trakes Meet

Michael Torquato de Nicola’s art is an direct result of his examinatorial affinity to his life as surfer and the interconnectedness to the natural world such life-style fosters and the two (his art and surf life) combine the best of Henry David Thoreau’s naturalistic, eco-friendly, observer/participant approach to the natural world with Walt Whitman’s humanist and transcendentalist mindset believing nature and man are inherently good and the search –or the inner longing– for a deeper, more intense spiritual meaning to it all is what makes any journey worth traveling far and wide.

Read the rest of the article over on QUITE LUNCH.

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Malibu Magazine, Fashion Meets Fitness

QN SPORT’S LATEST COLLABORATION WITH TORQUATO MERGES THE SPORTSWEAR PURVEYOR’S CHIC AESTHETIC AND WEARABLE FABRICS WITH THE CELEBRATED L.A. ARTIST’S STREET ART EDGE. WORKING OUT NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD.


Long sleeve cashmere crewneck shirt ($130), high-rise liquid leggings in navy ($96), racerback rib dress ($268)

Long sleeve cashmere crewneck shirt ($130), high-rise liquid leggings in navy ($96), racerback rib dress ($268)

Left: Reef leggings Nicaragua ($125), one-of-a-kind long sleeve Moss shirt ($295) Right: Jersey racerback white tank ($255), liquid side pocket legging ($299)

Left: Reef leggings Nicaragua ($125), one-of-a-kind long sleeve Moss shirt ($295) Right: Jersey racerback white tank ($255), liquid side pocket legging ($299)

Long sleeve cashmere crewneck shirt ($130), high-rise liquid leggings in navy ($96), racerback rib dress ($268), Lux Infinity scarf ($50), Black Chester Wallace bag ($250), Torquato skateboard ($450)

Long sleeve cashmere crewneck shirt ($130), high-rise liquid leggings in navy ($96), racerback rib dress ($268), Lux Infinity scarf ($50), Black Chester Wallace bag ($250), Torquato skateboard ($450)

Jersey racerback white tank ($255), liquid side pocket legging ($299)

Jersey racerback white tank ($255), liquid side pocket legging ($299)

White muscle T-shirt ($269), Sumatra Reef leggings ($125), Torquato surfboard ($7,500)

White muscle T-shirt ($269), Sumatra Reef leggings ($125), Torquato surfboard ($7,500)

White muscle T-shirt ($269), Sumatra Reef leggings ($125), Torquato surfboard ($7,500)

White muscle T-shirt ($269), Sumatra Reef leggings ($125), Torquato surfboard ($7,500)

Jersey racerback white tank ($255), liquid side pocket legging ($299)

Jersey racerback white tank ($255), liquid side pocket legging ($299)

Chester Wallace canvas tote ($350), White muscle T-shirt ($269), Sumatra Reef leggings ($125)

Chester Wallace canvas tote ($350), White muscle T-shirt ($269), Sumatra Reef leggings ($125)

Rolling Waves to Rolling Trains

B&B&Co Gallery present:

‘Rolling Waves to Rolling Trains’
Paintings by Michael Torquato deNicola

December 4th – December 11th

Opening Reception
Sunday, December 4th 2-6PM

V.I.P. preview
Brunch 12-2PM

Artist talk and closing
Sunday, December 11th
2-5PM

B&B&Co Gallery 516E 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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This show reflects the outstanding transformation of expressionism style of an artist with a long history of nature bond paintings.
‘Rolling Waves to Rolling Trains’ is a collection of works created in the disparity of these environments and combined for this show with the hope of revealing a greater connection to the natural world and its possibilities.
In the summer of 2015, Torquato relocated his studio from Pacific Palisades to DTLA and this change of environment marks a significant shift in his work.

The vast horizon of the Pacific Ocean has been replaced by the hi-rise downtown urban sprawl. The songs of the local west-side parrots have been replaced by the hum of the nearby cement factory. The empty morning beaches have been replaced by the growing homeless encampments. The sounds of rolling waves have been replaced by the sounds of rolling trains.

Says Torquato, “These differences aren’t to be judged. They are only to be observed, digested and then expressed through my work.”

Michael Torquato deNicola describes himself as a ‘Primitive Modern Artist.’ His work reflects the rhythms, patterns and cycles of nature with nature, in the broadest sense, referring to the science and phenomena of the natural, physical, material world.

Born and raised in Southern California, Torquato is a life long surfer with much of his influence coming from his connection to the Ocean and his experiences around the globe in locations such as Indonesia, Iceland, Samoa, Peru, The Galapagos Islands and more.
Torquato’s visual works have appeared in galleries, art fairs, print, film festivals and TV screens around the world over the past 20 years.