Hazleton’s creative community spans all genres of the artistic spectrum. When you know where to search, it’s possible to discover local artists and business people morphing the boundaries of artistic norms. Michael Delmonico is one these rare people, questioning the traditional and experimenting with the unusual. Over the course of his photographic career, he has embraced surrealism. At only 23, Delmonico has his own business, Delmonico Photography, in which he is commissioned to create a wide range of work, including surreal creations. Additionally, he has worked weddings, World War II reenactments, and he shoots for a Jim Thorpe podcast at a local theater.
Although art was always a present force in his life, and he sketched as a child, Delmonico ’s passion for photography began in high school. Unafraid of the challenge, he pursued it head on into his college career. He graduated from Luzerne County Community College in 2014 with an associate’s degree in photography. His teachers taught him the necessary basics to the art, but his true outlet for expression flourished while he was out in the world beyond the classroom.
Delmonico has a unique outlook on his creative pursuit. His goal is to discover what he can and cannot achieve. When he finds a technique, tool, or style intriguing, he welcomes the test. This unconventional approach led to his becoming known as a surreal artist. After college, he dove straight into surreal techniques, tampering with exposure, color, and lighting to create enchantingly fantastic and off-kilter scenes. Recently, he has been working on a project titled “Lost Transmissions,” in which he superimposes electronics on top on human heads. This project was inspired by the quote he came up with, “We are all transmissions endlessly floating through space, waiting to be picked up and translated.”
One of Michael’s favorite photography gadgets is his wide-angle lens, allowing him to produce expansive first person images, which he admits, has created some of his most loved works. Right after acquiring his wide angle-lens, he had traveled to Philly during the 4th of July celebration, and was able to take the most magnificent shots of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul—“It blew my mind,” he remembers.
The same lens produced a breath taking scene looking over the Lehigh Valley Gorge atop of Mount Pisgah in Jim Thorpe.
“I went there with my friend when it was raining. We got there after it rained, and we’re above the cloud line. It’s a super-wide image of the sky, the gorge, the clouds right in front of us. It’s pretty cool.”
Through a friend involved in the Art League and its music events, Delmonico became interested in Hazleton’s AYE. The encouragement of others inspired him to enter his work into the Expo, and even since then Michael has participated and truly enjoyed it. At this year’s Art Youth Expo on Saturday, April 8th, he is hosting an event titled “Back to the 90s” at Shop2 from noon to 3 pm where he will be taking retro photos with a Polaroid camera with a laser beam backdrop. It’s an amazing opportunity to peer into the creative mind of Michael, in person.
Of course, Delmonico has many creative pursuits in the works, including a filming company.
Photography has been a gateway of adventure and discovery for Michael, and from his journey’s he’s shared this advice to aspiring artists, instead of focusing on perfection “notice how you can get better.” His ultimate pursuit is happiness, “it’s what I do when I’m bored. It’s what I like to do, so why not have it be my hobby as well as my profession?”
Wise words for everyone from an artist following his passions.