VT by Michael Angelo
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VT by Michael Angelo

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Photography – Sacramento, CA

This is the photographic, spiritual, and therapeutic journey of a mans struggle to find balance, peace, and love in an ever fast paced, seemingly complicated, and potentially unrealistic reality of human experience. Induced by the pressures of society, religious beliefs, a clashing of melting pot culture, and global community turmoil. Growing up during the timeframe and spawn of technology races and nations thirst for power. Divided Citizens and innocence under heavy suppression. This was the world outside and the one inside was even harder. The trauma of a disconnected family hidden within. This is my Unraveling and unveiling of years of trauma and self abuse into a joyful life full of just the right stuff! Over the years I have been a nature enthusiast. Whether it be hiking, climbing, kayaking, camping, or just getting away from it all to relax. Exploring the trails, tackling elevation gains, challenging the body to persevere while escaping near death moments are obstacles that I have used to relate to life and my spiritual philosophy on how I show up in the world. Watching the behavior of plants, animals, insects, and weather gives me a relationship with something larger then myself and the life and death circles which are balanced in nature. The patterns in nature, are much like patterns within ourselves I’ve come to notice. The experiences in Nature have provided unprecedented lessons in my connection emotionally to what is outside of myself vs what is inside. When I immerse myself in Nature my inner awareness increases and clarifies. Photographing Nature became a tool for me. Bringing me closer to the present moments of places I explored in Nature. Getting up close and personal with insects, and watching the vast changes of the universe unfolding during sunrises and sunsets brought me inward and present to what is. The ever changing beauty rolls by and disasters and challenges arise. These shifts constantly presenting a fluctuation of emotion between Love or Joy, and Fear or Pain. The Nature of Man never feels the same way day to day as each passing moment shifts our mental state throughout the emotional spectrum. Walking amongst nature as a photographer I have come to witness a philosophy. I am wondering, walking, and searching for a particular moment to photograph and I am unaware of when and where that moment will arise. Compelled to search for these moments by walking, climbing, pushing, sitting, or crouching. Does it matter what I do that brings me to the right present moment? The moments we are “looking for” will always find us no matter what the circumstance. Sometimes the moment finds Us if we wait and other times We find these moments when we search. At least it seems to be these ways.

Such is Life… Moments come and go, some we create and others created for Us. I became a student and practitioner of Yoga when I was 30 years old. I was searching for a way to become healthy, and a way to relax my mind. I had a troubling childhood, and traumatic life full of chaos, uncertainty, rejection, abuse, and luckily my father could provide some security and stability through his hard work. My philosophy and beliefs which once stemmed from American Culture and Family Religious pressure began to change after practicing Yoga. Yoga taught me to honor the moment as it is regardless of how I felt about it and so much more. The neutral middle ground of Be-ing and thinking brought me home to myself and has connected me close to Nature and encouraged my established Values and Priorities. Photography little did I know had become one of my Poses. Poses are postures in Yoga that help stretch muscle and tissue, Strengthen muscle and tissue, while opening nerves and providing oxygen to the cells in our body. A Yoga teacher of mine introduced me to A painting technique called acrylic pouring. I Loved it for many reasons. Control comes to mind. With Acrylic pouring there is an attempt to control the outcome of the artwork and great art is about expression and control, or no control. Some control is for good reason in life, and other times not so much. Control must come from an intention. Acrylic Pouring much like Yoga and Photography was teaching me to Let go of my vision of control and expectations of results. It has been difficult in my life as I never felt like I was in control, and once I learned how to have it, it became a dominating aspect of my experience. Sadly this was towards others less then my own self. The paintings allowed for me to let go of the outcome and surrender to what it has become while finding the beauty during that process of Be-ing. Painting became a new flow. Flow is the transitions between Poses in Yoga. Overtime I continued to play with the photos, and painting bringing my Love for Nature, Yoga, and Philosophy together as an integration of Me. I have integrated my life into this form of art that I am now sharing with you and I hope that my story can be inspiring and educational for anyone who learns of my story. To those who appreciate the artist process. My process much like Yoga with Poses, Flows, Presence, Honor, Discipline, and Community I am here to share with you.