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New York, Indianapolis
About the Artist:
Larry Agnello grew up on the north shore of Long Island in New York.
In 1986 Larry graduated from Hofstra University in New York with a BS in Graphic Design and a minor in Photography. At Hofstra he also had the opportunity to study painting with Stanley Twardowicz, a well-respected New York artist and good friend of Jack Kerouac. He also studied sculpture with renowned artist David Jacobs. Larry has worked as a Graphic Designer for over twenty years, designing book covers for a New York publisher for 15 years.
During a trip to Africa in 1989, Larry spent eight months backpacking through several East African countries. Doing volunteer work in different villages
The trip also produced thousands of photographs which are, to this day, the source for much of his artistic inspiration. In 2008 he relocated to Indianapolis, and since then has re-dedicated himself to his sculpture, painting, and wood carving.
"I want to be a biologist when I grow up. I want to live in Africa and study the animals."
I wrote that in third grade, on a small piece of green construction paper. I still have it. The penmanship isn't bad, considering I used a crayon.
I never became a biologist. But I did live in Africa for eight months, back in 1990. The animals are amazing; so is the scenery. But the African people are truly unforgettable. The poorer they are, the more resourceful they are. They use found, broken pieces of metal or wood or scrap material to create their tools, their clothes, and their home goods. I often saw children playing with toys they made from scraps of metal or wire. They play soccer with soccer balls made from bundles of cloth. And even the poorest people, who are struggling to survive, still have the need to create art. And again, they use whatever they can find. Many of their carved wooden masks contain rusty old screws or nails, old copper wire, or whatever else the artist could lay his hands on.
I brought back quite a few masks from Africa. I also brought back a love for primitive and modern African art. Iâ€™m fascinated now by peopleâ€™s need to create art from whatever materials are available to them. And I have this need now.
About a year ago I began creating sculptures from clock parts and scrap metal. I also started work on some unique mosaics with glass, stone, and marble. Looking back, I think it was inevitable that my love for African art and masks would find it's way into my own art and lead to sculptures and mosaics using scrap metal, broken glass and stone, old wood, and found objects. Even these discarded pieces can still make beautiful objects. Lasting objects that could be from the past or future, old or new.