(Ruggero Michahelles) RAM Artwork

Artist's Biography
Roger Alfred Michahelles was born in Florence on May 3rd 1898 into a cosmopolitan and well-to-do family, descendants of the famous America neo-classical sculptor Hiram Powers. From the age of 15, he showed a great interest in painting and attended, without his father's knowledge, the studios of Prof. Marfori-Savini and the painter Julius Rohlsoven.  In 1914 he started exhibiting his works in Florence and other Italian cities (portraits, Tuscan landscapes, water colours, stage sets, sculpture and engravings.)

In 1920, together with his brother Ernesto, he assisted in the creation and promotion of the tuta, or “overall”, a futurist form of clothing that was later adopted by many of the world’s work forces. Two years later he won, together with his brother Ernesto, the national competition: Premio Nazionale dell'Italica for the new stage sets of Verdi's opera Aida. He became part of the Futurist Movement (Gruppo Toscano Futurista) taking part in Futurist Exhibitions and adopting the “artistic” name of RAM.

From 1925 through to 1931 RAM worked for the publication Illustrazione Toscana and in 1926 began a long cooperation with the journals Rivista Illustrata del Popolo d'Italia and Natura, for which he produced illustrations and front covers. He also worked for the Ministry of Tourism, designing publicity and advertising and posters.

In 1927 RAM relocated to Paris to join with such contemporaries as Giorgio De Chirico, Massimo Campigli, Marino Marini, Mirò, Leon Bakst, Massine, and Ezra Pound. It was a time of great artistic foment. Here he matured his metaphysically inspired style of modernity. In 1928, he held his first personal exhibition in Florence in the Palazzo Feroni, and in the same year was invited to the XVI Biennale di Venezia where his painting Il Cipresso Della Strada was exhibited.  As a sculptor, RAM appeared in 1930 at the IV Mostra Regionale d'Arte Toscana, and later that year presented the Madre Solare in terracotta at the XVII Biennale di Venezia. The same year he married Olga Oulsufieff, of Russian nobility, in Florence. They were divorced in 1939.

In 1931, RAM participated in the design competition in Rome for the Metro Goldwyn-Mayer Quadriga (the Chariot and horses for Ben Hur), and in the same year, he presented Madre Natura, a bronze, and three paintings:  Il Varo, Idroscalo, Piroscafo.  During this period through to 1938, he worked on a series of art works, defined as neo-metaphysical.  He continued to enter works in various Futuristic exhibitions, including the 1932 exhibition Mostra Futurista di Aereopittura e di Scenografia in Milan.

In 1936 at the XX Biennale di Venezia, he exhibited his bronze Il Duce  (l'Uomo XIV -1936) and the same year in Paris at the  Galerie d'Art Le Niveau of Nemont he held a personal exhibition with a presentation by Giorgio De Chirico. The following year he won the Prix Paul Guillaume. From this point, a long period began where the artist alternated between Paris and Florence.  Unfortunately part of the works of this Parisian period were destroyed or stolen during the WWII German occupation.Also about 150 works were destroyed in one of his Studios in the tower of San Jacopo in Florence during a bombing

At the end WWII he continued in his artistic research in solitude and retirement. This period is represented in the figures of saltimbanchi (mime actors), recalling his days of youth in the Maremma district of Tuscany. He held a personal exhibition at the Galleria d'Arte Sandri di Venezia in 1947, presented by his friend Gianni Vagnetti.  In 1952 he was married for the second time, to Amelia Pietrini, from whom he had two children; Riccardo born 1959 and Sandro in 1964.

From 1959 through to 1973, he produced an important series of nudes, characterised by the use of only two colours and relative shades (white-blue or pink-blue).  His last personal exhibition was held in the Galleria Michelangelo in Florence in 1968.  He died in Florence in 1976.