Taking His Diverse Talent To A New Clientele, This son of Lodi Pays Homage To his Italian Heritage while “breaking The rules”
By Gilda Rogers
Frank Angiulli’s journey, from his Lodi, New Jersey roots to making a name for himself as an artist now residing in Palm Springs, California, was paved with color. The Bergen County native’s family owned car restoration business, catering to high end clients, is where every hue Angiulli could imagine became his friend.
As a youngster, Angiulli’s uncle Rich, the firm’s head painter, taught him how to mix colors. With that experience, the 11 year old took to the streets doing graffitian introduction to the art world that was less than favorable.
“I drew some letters on a truck,” said Angiulli, 47, adding that he was met with understandable rejection. “But the truck looks better!” he recalled responding.
That experience didn’t stop his quest for self expression. Shortly after receiving an associate’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, he was hired by a hair color manufacturer as a “colorist,” mixing and creating new tones and hues. Today, Angiulli takes pride in having not been formally trained as an artist.
“I’m not an illustrator; color is the essence of my work,” he said. “I look at a lot of artists and they all abide by certain rules. I don’t go by any rules.”
In his “Passive Aggressive” collection, viewers can see a fusion of exciting brush stokes enhanced by vivid hues, while the “Outpour of Emulsions” is a collection of deep textures.
Creating in his home studio, Angiulli’s mixed media approach is to first “dirty up” a blank white canvas, which can range in size from quite small to 60 by 72 inches. Prices also have a wide span, starting at about $100 and rising to $1,900 (the median hovers at about $750).
Regardless of size, devotees are drawn to his unorthodox mix of materials, including wooden sticks found on the street the canvas then splashed with everything from thick hair color to colored spackle appliqué. Restraint from painting the sides of a canvas is an Angiulli preference, because he likes the “grittiness” of unmatched edges. Many of his pieces are a quarter inch raised off the canvas due to the layered textured variations. A signature work, “Capturing Shadows,” is the shadow likeness of his hand.
Only in the last three years has Angiulli started to take his commercial game seriously, showing his work at a pop up gallery and small galleries in and around Fort Lauderdale, where he lived for six years. While still in Florida, a client from Miami purchased one of his pieces.
“Two days later, she called to say she was remodeling her home, and wanted four more,” said Angiulli. “She asked me to meet with her painter, because she wanted me to choose the colors for her walls that would complement the art.”
Adamant that his mission is not monetary riches, the artist asserts his spirit is lifted when his work brings joy to others. (“It is an absolute great honor to do this,” he said.) Since recently relocating to Palm Springs, which he said is where “architecture and art go hand in hand,” he’s attracted a niche clientele. Fine art collectors are gravitating to his work and commission him to create, often in concert with interior decorators.
As the son of first generation Italian immigrants, he takes pride in his heritage. “I am proud to come from the land of masters of art,” he said.