The artist formerly known as Michael Pucciarelli is ressurecting Pooch Island from dismantled rides, discarded icons, and forgotten Gods.
Raised on a diet of Ray Harryhausen films, H. P. Lovecraft novels, comics, Walt Disney World and other Florida tourist traps, Pooch paints images that seem to exist in a bizarre afterlife. His art is a visual cocktail of these influences—with a shot of lowbrow culture—shaken and stirred, then served up in a souvenir tiki skull on the Day of the Dead. A self-taught artist, he owes much of his painting skills to over ten years of daily tattooing and drawing.
Working in different series allows Pooch the freedom to explore various cultural symbols, but also keeps him inspired to dig deeper into those respective subjects. His newest works reflect his constant exposure to Florida theme parks, where surreal carnival ride “facades” reflect the false fronts of modern society. Meaning aside, Pooch’s paintings are created to hold the viewer’s attention, which is quite a challenge in today’s TV and computer age. Pooch’s technique is intensive, he paints the devil in the details. His earliest influences were artists like MC Escher, Dali, and HR Giger. Holding the old masters in high regard, Pooch has a strong respect for painters of the Flemish age such as Bosch and Van Eyk–plus modern artists like Todd Schorr, Joe Coleman, Mark Ryden, and Robert Williams, all of whom honor the tradition of highly detailed symbolic works.