Michael Amato is a fine art photographer, emerging artist, and recent graduate of the University of Connecticut. Much of his work carries a central theme of paranoia; regarding his concern with the advancement of technology and its impact on the human mind and society, issues of privacy loss in an age of virtual transparency, and the impact of fear culture in the western world. Other bodies of work focus on cultures and ways of living that fascinate him. At the University of Connecticut, he was the recipient of several grants and awards; most notably the SURF Award and the Supply Award which funded his creative projects Documenting the Burner Subculture and FLOWHANA: Photographs of the Hawaii Fire Artists. His work has been exhibited at the Institute Library in New Haven, CT, Artspace Windham in Willimantic, CT, The MAC650 Gallery in Middletown, CT, and The New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, CT. Press Coverage for FLOWHANA @ MAC650: The Hartford Courant & The Middletown Press. “Michael Amato is intrigued by the photography of subcultures: Mike Brodie’s Polaroid chronicles of train-hoppers, Anton Kusters’ immersion into the Yakuza, Morgan Ashcom’s images of skateboard-riding anarchists. He wanted to do a series of his own, and he chose the “burners,” or fire artists, of Hawaii.” – Susan Dunne, The Hartford Courant. “Months shy of obtaining his fine arts degree, the Cromwell born and raised artist found himself winning a prestigious grant to study a subculture all its own, said Amato, who quickly developed a sense of fascination and wonder at the art form.” – Cassandra Day, The Middletown Press. Check out some of Michael’s older work presented alongside several of my esteemed peers at the University of Connecticut here. 1st Pancake Design Collective is an art and design collective established by Alec Marcus & Rachel Sarnie.