Herald illustrator leaves legacy of outstanding work

"No Pride & Prejudice" Annabel Crabb and Mark Scott.

“No Pride & Prejudice” Annabel Crabb and Mark Scott.Credit:Michael Mucci

Michael’s mother Rita encouraged a passion and love of art and he displayed a talent for drawing at a young age.

Voters thought Crown Prince Mary of Denmark would make a good prime minister. (with apologies to Delacroix).

Voters thought Crown Prince Mary of Denmark would make a good prime minister. (with apologies to Delacroix).Credit:Michael Mucci

Michael attended St Charles and Waverley College before Alexander Mackie College,
where he studied Art Education. Although he never completed his degree, it was here that Michael met his wife of 35 years, Tina. He proposed to her after just one week of dating, marrying at 21.

Michael’s early career saw him dabble in animation and graphic art for advertising agencies until he landed a job as an illustrator at Fairfax Limited, where he remained for 31 years. In the early years he would paint and draw by hand. When he relocated to Stanwell Park after a respiratory illness, couriers would come to pick up each individual illustration and deliver them to Sydney.

As technology changed, Mucci embraced the freedom that advances in graphic software provided.
He maintained his own art practice throughout, becoming a finalist in the Doug Moran Portrait
Prize, Blake and Archibald Prize over the years.

He taught Graphic Design at Wollongong University and TAFE – he was a much-loved tutor, inspiring a generation of young creatives. In his later years, he deeply enjoyed meditative, abstract painting, experimenting with light and tone.

Keira Knightley embraces tortured characters.

Keira Knightley embraces tortured characters.Credit:Michael Mucci

He said his greatest achievement was building a family with Tina. His family is his
legacy – Kiara, Nathan, Joel and Melina. An extremely devoted, hands-on dad, his kids enjoyed an idyllic childhood and he gave them the greatest gift, his time.

Paul Keating at Michelangelo's David (with apologies to Michelangelo).

Paul Keating at Michelangelo’s David (with apologies to Michelangelo).Credit:Michael Mucci

Through countless walks together, he fostered in them a love of nature, as well as an appreciation of the simple things. He enjoyed travelling, both solo and with his family. Trips to Greece, Italy, Indonesia and Japan were some of the highlights.

A much-loved member of the Sharkies/Coledale surf line-up, “Mooch” was known for enjoying a
deep and meaningful conversation in the water, more than catching waves.

He had a unique ability to make anyone he spoke to feel like the only person in the room. A deep spiritual thinker and philosophiser, he strived to simply live a peaceful and compassionate life.

Unlike most, he lived with a strong sense of his own mortality, and this informed and
enriched his life daily. When he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017, he approached the
situation with grace, tranquility and a no-regrets attitude that was an honour to witness for all who
knew him.

Running outoif water - and time, 2005.

Running outoif water – and time, 2005.Credit:Michael Mucci

Michael taught us how to live, and this past year he taught us how to die. He died a peaceful death held in the arms of his loving wife Tina and four beautiful children.

Michael Mucci: August 9, 1962 – November 27, 2019.

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