Paul Pascarella’s journey toward the Rockies is a key to his artistic evolution. He began in New York, graduating from Parsons School of Design and exhibiting his work at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts and the Nikon Gallery. Freelancing as a graphic designer in New York and Aspen, where he had his first solo show in 1970, he eventually moved to Los Angeles, designing titles and trailers for feature films. His graphic work is in the contemporary collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
While in Los Angeles he began painting creatures from the mythology and nature of the American West, silent and formidable witnesses to a pre-industrialized era. As a result of these works he was introduced to the Native American Lakota rituals, which became the existential catalysts that led Pascarella to leave Los Angeles and to concentrate exclusively on his art.
The landscape of northern New Mexico, where he has lived since the mid-1980s, further influenced his subject matter, leading to a series of works – the Dynamics of Nature, Full Moon Paintings, Potential Images, and the Large New Moon Paintings – in which natural phenomena are boldly abstracted.
In 2005, days after the tragic death of Hunter Thompson, a friend and pivotal figure in his life, he completed a five-foot portrait of Thompson and a video of the making of the portrait that brought a new and unsuspected freedom to his work. Often working on a large scale and sometimes anchoring paintings to panels of textured gold, Pascarella continues to use an unorthodox variety of media and tools to reach the textural complexity of vigorous abstraction where motions and patterns become figurative hints harking back to the powers of Nature. In Pascarella’s latest works, he is mix-matching a variety of panels and adding more collage and digital imagery to his gestural abstractions.
Pascarella’s work has been exhibited in galleries in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Aspen, Santa Fe, and Taos. His work is in private and public collections including the Harwood Museum in Taos, the Hammond Museum in New York, and the Headley Whitney Museum in Lexington, Kentucky.