In the meantime he had already opened a studio showroom of photography, where everyone could see these revolutionary creations, and where other photographers could bring their work to be processed and learn the new techniques Pasqual was developing (no pun intended).
During this fecund period (see Facts) Pasqual enjoyed outstanding success, won some 30 national and international awards, and saw his photos enhancing the covers of more than a hundred magazines. Even today the techniques he originated seem new and experimental, and although he has proceeded to other forms of art, a move any soothsayer could have foreseen from his interest in painting, he remains today loyal to his photography muse: he is still a photographer-artographer, and his work is as brilliant as ever. To quote Peter Brown of the L.A. Times, in an article describing Pasqual’s discipline and dedication in directing his Academy: “And Bettio, one of the best-known of the celebrity-photographers in Los Angeles, is as good as his word.”
Possibly Pasqual’s Italian heritage accounts in part for his love of people, his sociable urge to share his environment, for his theatrical flair. When he uses a camera, then photography simply has to be art, as it was for him before it was generally recognized as such. His early paintings are imaginative, bizarre, a bit surreal, a kind of contemporary fin de siecle – Oscar Wilde’s Salome in a space suite psychedelically lap-dissolved into the Rolling Stones. His later work – although with his enthusiasm it can scarcely be called work, and yet play implies a lack of serious intent which is not lacking – this art, then, employs various machinery, orphaned cogs, the disreputable detritus of wasteful civilized (?) mankind. Nothing is too insignificant: as Pasqual, without bitterness, says: “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.”
Hollywood Arts Council
This garbage, these objects he transforms by his personal alchemy into bright, colorful, happy art, while at the same time keeping the reality of the original object intact, the object thereby becoming immortalized in an unfamiliar context – non-utilitarian art.
The end product of this process constitutes Pasqual’s assemblage period, which beaks down further into his recent cosmos and tronics. All Pasqual’s art can be said to represent his feelings about the present and the past, but this latest creative period carried him into the rapidly encroaching future, a giant and potentially perilous step for a friendly artist. Pasqual’s future however is not the bleak landscape of familiar science fiction: with Pasqual as guide and gentle hand-holder, it is always suffused with warmth, humor, and affection.
This, then, is Pasqual as we know him, a man of many parts and seasonings, all of them seamlessly integrated into his art: he regularly receives inspiration from the older masters; he is gregarious and generous; he believes an artist should experience as much of life, but only positively and harmlessly, as he can squeeze out of it; he is fond of change – he has no fear of progress; he delights in everything – light, color, buildings, all kinds of objects, and he expresses his love by incorporating them into his work, which is the legitimate child of his love affair with the world around him. In other words, art is a part of every aspect of his life, and every aspect of his life is a part of his art, which is as naturally a product of his self as warmth is a product of the sun.
Interesting! Here we have been discussing the art of Pasqual, and Pasqual as artist, not intending personal biography, but at every turn we encounter Pasqual the man. With many artists it’s difficult to establish a connection between their art and their selves: art is simply something they do, like law or carpentry. But with certain other artists, particularly the born artists mentioned in paragraph one, the connection is easy to make, because they are, themselves, works of art, at least partially of their own conscious creation, separate from though related to their other art work.
This is certainly true of Pasqual, who I think can be called his finest creation, a being as imaginative and theatrical in himself as in his work. He has little in common with the modern businessman-artist, who carefully blends into society, and even less with the street-wise cool in-group cliquish opportunity. Not Pasqual; he is neither cool, nor detached. He is on the hills of Montmartre and Montparnasse, where artists painted in garrets and argued in cafes, bringing color and excitement to a prosaic world trying its best to be safe and inconspicuous.
Marshall MacLuhan once wrote of the Balinese that their language has no word for art, because art is everything they do, and so it is with Pasqual.