By Annette Cinelli

Michael Alfano has been sculpting figures, monuments, and philosophical pieces since he had an epiphany in Utah (while hitchhiking across the country) that sculpting was his passion. As he explains it, “I was exposed to art as a child visiting museums with my parents, but it wasn’t until later on that I started sculpting all the time.” His interest was piqued in college by his good friend, artist Andy Golub.

In college, Michael majored in finance and later became a broker, but it wasn’t what he wanted to do because “It didn’t suit my personality.” After he left his job and finished his hitchhiking adventure, he returned to New York and studied at the Art Students League of New York with an emphasis on life size sculpture and anatomy.

Many of his sculptures, now created out of the studio in his Hopkington home, are based on philosophical ideas and storytelling; he describes them as “based on thoughts as opposed to just an aesthetic sculpture.” He is strongly influenced by Buddhist thought and almost everything he does is based on the figure. In his art he focuses on “…the idea of being, what it means to be human, what makes us human, and how we interact as humans.”
Working in the arts is not an easy career, but Michael encourages those who may have an interest in art to pursue it. “Just keep at it, it’s a lot of hard work, and not much money in the beginning, or ever. Just pursue your ideas and what you love to do and don’t get discouraged.”

When asked about his favorite sculpture, he muses, “The sculpture I haven’t made yet, what I’m working on right now. Creating the next sculpture is what I’m most interested in.” Currently that would be two large scale monuments, one ~ of a child and fox ~ for the international golf club in Bolton and another for the Apostles of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Hamden, Connecticut.

The sculpture pictured above is what Michael describes as a “…one of a kind piece for me. It’s a neat and fun sculpture, it’s unique in the fact that it’s making art out of the stuff you build a house with.” Each figure has every other 2 x 4 piece missing, and what’s missing from one is present in the other. From different angles it can look very abstract; from others, a realistic portrayal of a female torso.

If you are interested in seeing some of Michael’s work, check out his exhibit Mind, Heart and Body at the Westboro Gallery. He is showcasing about 40 sculptures.

You can also see his work on his website