by Nick Christophers
When a mobster steps into the world of an informant it is far removed from his previous life. He is given new names and actually a totally new identity. It looks and sounds ideal yet it really is so far removed it is difficult for career criminals to totally adapt. One such example would be with Sammy The Bull Gravano who not only opted out of the program but re-entered the criminal world and ended up behind bars again. Yet there are those who learn to value their freedom and sanity and accept their fate.
One such individual is Dominic Montiglio who has lived the 24/7 mobster life better than most. He was raised among relatives who held high positions within the underworld. Dominics strongest influence growing up was his uncle Nino. Nino was a high ranking captain in the Gambino Family back in the early 60s. At this time Dominic was a young curious and active boy who was always around his uncle. His uncle played an active role in Dominics upbringing, and none of it was positive.
Even though he was around his uncle a lot Dominic was also very much attracted to music. As a teenager Dominic and a few friends formed a group called the Four Directions. The group was so impressive that they were soon signed to Deca Records. They backed up headliners like Jackie Wilson, Mitch Ryder and even toured with the Drifters. The Four Directions where noted as the only white group to back up black singers.
It soon became evident that they were to be signed to a major label which was owned by the Family. Yet his uncle refused to help. This in turn sank his hopes to further his musical dream. He soon enlisted in the army and was shipped to Viet Nam where he did a few tours. Dominic then returned from Nam and went right back to the dark streets of Brooklyn and back to his uncle Nino. He soon moved to Levittown, Long Island with his family.
As he spent more time with Nino and his crew Dominic eventually felt slighted and took off to California with his pregnant wife and two children. He arrived in California with only $1500 dollars. Dominic reconnected with a friend and hit the street life with a bang. He was living on welfare for awhile and within six months he acclaimed a mini fortune. When he was employed under Nino he was making a meager $250 a week which was hard to live on.
When he was in California he connected with Colombians and did them a favor and it returned ten-fold. He began dealing drugs and had his own crew he was his own boss, which he savored since he was well protected with his own crew. The favor he did actually resulted in averting a war between the Colombians and the Italians. Dominic returned monies owed to the Colombians from the LA crime Family.
Yet he eventually left that life behind. He became what he dreaded to ever become a rat. But he realizes now that it was the best thing he ever did. The hardest thing he ever did was testify in the second trial. I tell many people that I would rather do another two tours in Nam than go through that again. Being a few feet from Nino, Paul and even by childhood friend Henry was very heart-wrenching.
His reason for becoming a federal witness was very clear cut. When he left for California for a better life for his family Nino claimed he took off with $250 thousand dollars of his money. This was totally untrue.
Hence, he was marked for death. This only fueled his desire to turn states evidence even more.
It soon surfaced after his time in the witness protection program that his service in Nam was fabricated. The source of this information was found in a book entitled Stolen Valor. Yet those claims were never substantiated. Besides this information he was also filled with lies about his father by Nino who never permitted him to associate with him. But Dominic learned some interesting news about how much of a better person his father was than Nino.
In Dominics opinion the mafia as we know it is far from extinct but it has adapted to different avenues of illicit gains. One such area is the stock market where he pointed out how individuals like Carmine The Doctor Lombardozzi became master-minds in the market. They were unstoppable at one time. The mafia is currently made up of smaller factions mixed up in drugs who are in it only for the love of money not honor or respect.
Since then Dominic has channeled his skills by using a different tool. That tool being a paint brush than a gun. He came across a gentleman by the name of Ross Brodar who was an artist. Ross was taken in by a mural Dominic was working on and strongly suggested that he should keep producing such pieces. Since their first encounter they have not only worked together but became close friends.
I find art to be very therapeutic and it allows me to express myself openly yet privately. All my works are depictions of certain experiences in my life and also my dreams.
He currently has a few shows in the works. Presently, he has a show in the Netherlands which will be moving on to Russia and then coming back to the US in Santa Fae, New Mexico. Dominic feels very fortunate to have achieved this. Prior to this new venture he was living off his military disability which was way to low to survive on.
With this being the case there were times that Dominic could of easily went back to the life and make some quick money. Yet he made a promise to his ex-wife and children he would never revert to that kind of life again.
The label that they have coined Dominics work would be modern impressionism. Each painting depicts a scene from his life. I attribute my work to my dreams and actual real life experiences.
Currently, he is working on a documentary / film covering his life and his current works. The working title of the film is Dark Visions The Story of Dominic Montiglio- Ex- Gambino Hitman Turns Artist. The film is not a gangster story but a film that chronicles his street life to Viet Nam and up to his artistic career.
The title somewhat derives from the style of his artwork which has an edgy dark look. To view his work you could visit: http://www.rossbrodar.com/DMNamePlate.htm . His favorite piece which was like a collage depicting a gangster scene was around 7 feet by 5 feet long. It sold for ten thousand dollars to a collector in Manhattan and in the Hamptons. It was an untitled piece.
I usually do not title my pieces. I leave it up to the viewer to see it anyway they wish.
Presently, Dominic is looking to keep painting and try to be very successful at it. His work is not only catered to the rich but there are copies that can be purchased at reasonable rates. The best way to acquire his work is normally at his shows but there are ways around it. His partner Ross Brodar can be reached for all these details at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dominic is a pure example of someone who took all his past evils and forged them into something positive.