Michael Rocco (Rocky) Pinciotti was born in Waterloo Iowa and grew up in Toledo Ohio. He has a BA from the University of Toledo. In 1979 Rocky moved to New York City to attend Pratt Art Institute for graduate school where he received his Masters of Fine Arts degree in 1981. During this time he began his association with Let There Be Neon, the SOHO gallery that single handedly re-introduced neon as an artistic medium for artists and revitalized it’s use throughout the world. Rocky soon became one of the new artistic pioneers in the creative neon art world and continues his association with LTBN today.
As a fine artist, he has traveled widely exhibiting on three continents as well as organizing and curating contemporary Neon art exhibits. His in depth lectures on the history of the artistic uses of neon illustrate how contemporary artists use neon in a wide variety of ways. His love of drawing, his draftsmanship and engineering skills are the solid foundations to which he adds his love of color and light to his creations. The use of neon in his work symbolizes an inner life in the form of illuminating radiant energy. “It’s the color and intensity of the light,” states Pinciotti, “that captures the energy of the idea”.
Time, Flight, Architecture, Home, Maps, Prose, and Modern Art history are all references that materialized in Pinciotti’s work throughout the 80’s and 90’s. During this time Pinciotti founded M&M Art, a gallery/studio on lower Broadway in SOHO that showcased many local, national and international artists working in neon as well as other mixed media’s. His exhibitions in Argentina were a pivotal point in the current movement of artists using neon in Buenos Aires today.
Pinciotti’s most recent work focuses on the combination of neon and nature. In an Art historical context, the mixture of these two unlikely worlds lies somewhere between light artists like Nauman, Kosuth, Merz and Sonnier and earth works or land art by Smithson, Morris and Turrell. Rocky’s mixed media and installation works are a blend of natural and artificial light sources as well as actual and artificial natural elements. One series utilizes large 8 x 14 foot photographic canvases in combination with neon and other elements. Another explores placing neon in field and forests.
Rocky’s has an extensive exhibition record and his neon artwork is featured in the books The Magic of Neon, Tools as Art, Let there Be Neon, Art as a Way of Learning and Contemporary Neon. His design work, video graphics, illustrations, animation, set designs and art direction have been used by MTV, HBO, VH1, Brooklyn Academy of Music, PBS, Great Performances, Children’s Television Workshop, Coca-Cola and Sony just to name a few.
Rocky currently lives in Cochecton New York and is the Gallery Director at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance Gallery in Narrowsburg NY.