Mario Pikus Opens the Door to His Rancho Mirage Art Studio

Artists home tour part of Rancho Mirage Cultural Festival

Rancho Mirage artist Mario Pikus will open up his home for a tour April 12 during the Rancho Mirage Cultural Festival.

Photo Courtesy of Mario Pikus on Facebook


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.”

You’re Invited….

Rebecca is one of the driving forces behind the inaugural Rancho Mirage Artist Studio/Home Tour, a part of the Rancho Mirage Cultural Festival, April 10-13.

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

Like what you're reading? Then "Like" us on Facebook and "follow" us on Twitter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Desert Guide
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Tour Eight Modern Masterpieces in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage

See the homes designed by the men synonymous with Palm Springs modern architectural history, including E. Stewart Williams, Donald Wexler and Rick Harrison, William Krisel, and William Cody during the Fall Home Tour on Nov. 1.

Call of the Wild

The opalescent light and serene, wine-dark water with its ever-changing shorelines are but a few hallmarks of the Salton Sea’s beauty.

Tourism Reboot

World-class events such as the Coachella music festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival are sparking renewed economic growth in the valley.

The Ripple Effect

The Salton Sea — California’s largest inland lake — presents big opportunities for environmentally sound economic progress.

Lasers Light Up Fantasy Springs Bowling Center

Turn off the lights at Fantasy Springs Bowling Center at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, and one of America’s oldest recreational sports literally illuminates a whole new persona - laser bowling.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2015.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Enter for a Chance to Win a Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert 2015 Grand Experience
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Edit ModuleShow Tags