Born Giuseppe Dangelico Daeni in Bari, Italy, in November 8, 1939, his talents were recognized by his first grade teacher, who advised Pino’s father, Tommaso D’Angelico, to encourage his son’s artistic precociousness. However, Tommaso remained skeptical of his son’s future as an artist.
He was a self-taught artist. Eventually, Pino enrolled at the Art Institute of Bari, then went on to Milan’s Academy of Brera in 1960, where he honed his craft for painting from the live nude.
From 1960 to 1979, his work garnered several prizes and awards. During this period, he was commissioned by two of Italy’s largest publishers, Mondadori and Rizzoli, for numerous book illustrations. After a visit to Manhattan in 1971, Pino’s experiences of the art scene at that period led him to feel restricted in Milan, and in 1978, he moved to New York, where he believed the artistic freedom would allow him greater opportunities. He brought with him his family—wife Chiara, seven-year old daughter Paola, and five-year old son Massimo.