the FOUND in LOS ANGELES project
by Ron Barbagallo
Conceived and baptized in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Ron Barbagallo was born and raised in nearby Bayonne, New Jersey. Barbagallo studied both Animation and Fine Art painting at the School of Visual Arts in New York City while Keith Haring, Madonna and street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat were in and out of that school. As a student, Barbagallo received two of SVA’s highest achievements: The Roy Lichtenstein Award (1980) and The Rhodes Family Award (1981). He received his B.F.A. in 1981. Upon graduation, Barbagallo interned in California with Star Wars poster artist Charlie White III. Returning to New York City, Barbagallo worked as a freelance illustrator.
In 1988, Barbagallo founded Animation Art Conservation, a conservation practice devoted to the ethical repair of classic animation art. He is noted for being the person who brought museum-level conservation science to the commercial repaint world of animation repair. Barbagallo’s client list includes the Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, Hanna-Barbera, Christie’s East, museums and galleries and the personal collections of Stephen Ison and Roy E. Disney. Barbagallo also preserved art from all eight Harry Potter films, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride puppets, Christopher Nolan’s Batsuits, and the Warner Bros. Retail Store items that survived the 9/11 attack on World Trade Center Tower One. After 28 years preserving painted plastics, Barbagallo formed The Research Library at Animation Art Conservation. The first lecture from that library unveiled a missing collection of Salvador Dalí art and what is the version of Destino that Dalí intended to make.
In 2012, Barbagallo created the FOUND in LOS ANGELES project which resurrected the sort of fine art he used to make with his twin sister Lori who died in 1988. Before her passing, Lori explored photography in the area of Abstract Expressionist Found Object and Ron consulted heavily on all her imagery. Lori's art focused on finding abstract landscapes hidden within the streets of Bayonne, New Jersey and New York City. Today, Ron continues that project by moving it to the streets of LA where every image from his new body of work was photographed while running errands. As such, these photographs are a visual diary that like his twin sister record his travelog while walking around in the streets where he lives. the FOUND in LOS ANGELES project was included in the Duncan Miller Gallery's YourDailyEmail and participated in Photo Independent in 2015. One of his photographs is on permanent display in the lobby at the ArcLight Hollywood, the most trafficked movie theater in the USA.
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