Joseph Michael Tucciarone was born in Youngstown, Ohio. His parents encouraged his early fascination with dinosaurs and his interest in art. Like many other children growing up in the early sixties, he was also captivated by rockets and outer space. At the age of eight he was enrolled in Saturday art classes at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, where he promptly created his first space and dinosaur paintings.
Joe graduated Summa Cum Laude from Youngstown State University with a Bachelor's degree in physics and later he received his Master's degree from the University of Toledo. Despite earning advanced degrees in science, Joe always wanted to be an artist. In 1978 he began a professional career as a space artist at the Memphis Museum planetarium. Although he had produced a steady stream of astronomical art throughout his life, Joe hadn't created a dinosaur painting since his childhood. That changed in 1995 when he wrote, produced and illustrated a planetarium show about dinosaurs. After a lapse of more than thirty years he was once again illustrating the prehistoric creatures that were his first and favorite subjects.
In March 2000, the Board of Trustees at Youngstown State University bestowed an honorary Doctor of Science Degree upon Joe in recognition of his lifetime achievements in the field of science illustration. He is a longtime member of the International Association for the Astronomical Arts, and his paintings are owned by private collectors and museums throughout the world.
Joe's works are remarkable and singular in their precision and texture. He has mastered subtleties of nebulae and gaseous phenomena, while his lighting and sharply focused landscapes provide a stark counterpoint to the softness of his background subjects. His palette of color is unique among our artists, from popsicle purples to rich blues and siennas. He has a large cult of fanatic collectors of his prints and originals.