Artist Mario Pikus’ career began in his native Argentina when he won his first art award at 8 years old.
Since then his travels have taken him from New York to Los Angeles, and finally Rancho Mirage for the last 12 years.
“The desert is our final destination,” says his wife, Rebecca. “It is a great place for artists. We've found beauty and inspiration in the desert… palm trees, blue skies, dark night skies, and the mountains. This is a spiritual and visual place for artists.”
The tours run April 12 featuring artists Tony and Karen Barone as well as Joe Novak at Rancho Mirage City Hall. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the public can pick up a free ticket with a brochure, map and directions to the artists’ homes for a self-guided tour from noon to 5 p.m.
“The greater Palm Springs area should be a cultural mecca for artists,” Rebecca says. “We have golf, tennis, polo and 5-star restaurants, and we need to promote more arts and culture in this area because of the world-class artists who call this area home.”
Rebecca has coordinated this rare peek inside the homes of local artists to share their passion with the public. The quartet includes her husband, Mario, an abstract expressionist painter and sculptor (example at right); painter and printmaker Mia Luzajic; western landscape painter, Mandy Main, and en plein air painter, Elaine Mathews.
“In a gallery, you will see finished pieces but if you interact with an artist in their own space, you can see how they create, what materials they use, what their thought process is,” Rebecca says. “You can engage with them on a different level and ask questions you may not have otherwise thought of.”
- The Pikus’ have over ½ an acre of land.
- Their backyard is a sculptural garden with pieces of chrome and metal that can withstand the elements.
- Their home/studio also houses Pikus’ abstract, expressionist paintings and drawings.
Mario, who was mentored by famous Cubist sculptor, Jacques Lipchitz, when he first came to New York City, has infused his own aesthetic to incorporate cubism, surrealism, and abstract expressionism into vibrant colorful works of art.
Mario has coined the term, “Harley-ism” to represent his sculptures, created from discarded Harley Davidson parts in what he says, “is inspired by riding my bike on the canvas paths of California’s last frontier.”
- He also incorporates discarded airplane parts to create hybrid chrome and metal sculptures.
- Salvaged handlebars, fenders, and tailpipes are intertwined with propellers, nose cones and gears.
- Mario’s mural-size oil paintings, which started out as classical and representational, have evolved over the years into stunning abstract expressionism artwork.
For more information on Mario Pikus, visit www.mariopikusartist.com