WHO IS MICK? Mick is Richie Santostefano

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." - Thomas Merton

Statement -
I am intrigued with most everything, esp. with the simple mundane wonders of life, things that glow, hidden things in nooks, time - the present, the journey, ancient smells, and the mundane. I often discover that mundane things are full of profound wonder and even the bizarre - a total circus of strangeness. I am also interested in how we often fear that strangeness and hiding ourselves in pretense. Maybe it’s fear of failure? Maybe it’s imposter syndrome? I hope to explore the what and why of this fear, as well as the joy and splendor of experiencing a release from it. I try to work out these subjects and questions through explorations of color, texture, characters, process, within a loose narrative that personifies the spirit of the clown - an archetype of the foolishness of humanity - the buffoon that stumbles around constantly making messes. I try to embrace my own failures within my art-making process moving towards approaches that go against my presuppositions, either technically or aesthetically, allowing for my own creative growth as an artist and as a person. "Through humor, we see in what seems rational, the irrational; in what seems important, the unimportant. It also heightens our sense of survival and preserves our sanity" - Chaplin

Backstory: Yes, my given name is Richie and somewhere along the way I rebranded myself as Mick. I wouldn't mind returning to Richie, but so many people know me as Mick now... I was born in Syosset, NY, raised in a military family, and lived all over the place. I studied fine art at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and currently in Austin, TX, creating art, collaborating with my talented wife, and raising a family.