By Rebecca Pikus
Is it possible for an Artist to be Futuristic — and Old School — at the same time? Well painter & sculptor Mario Pikus proves it can be! Throughout the ages, many artists — writers, painters, sculptors, musicians, poets, have let their imaginations soar to the future, the heavens, the universe, the realms of science fiction, the possibilities of UFOs. Pikus has always looked to the universe and beyond for inspiration. That is his Future. But he has also looked to the past – Ancient religions, Kaballah, myths, previous generations of artists, for Old School inspiration. In today’s millennium world of digital art and manipulated mediums, he is a throwback artist who embraces real canvas, real oil paint, real brushes, real wood, metal, & chrome — all the tactile sensations that artists of his generation want and need.
Mario Pikus, Painter & Sculptor, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, won his first art award at 8 years old. By his teens he was painting commissioned murals. At age 20, he traveled to New York to meet one of the only living Paris-of-the-20s artists — Cubist sculptor Jacques Lipchitz. The young Mario knocked unannounced at Lipchitz’s studio in Hastings-on-the-Hudson, built for Lipschitz by the Museum of Modern Art. Lipchitz believed Mario to be an artistic genius, and that Mario was the reincarnation of Chaim Soutine. Lipchitz became Mario’s lifelong mentor. Mario Pikus’ art has evolved over the years from Classical to Cubism, Surrealism, & Abstract Expressionism.
In the 1970s & 1980s, while living in his loft in Soho and later Tribeca in New York City, Pikus became a famous activist in fighting for the legal rights of artists to both live and work in their loft spaces. He was responsible for case law & new legislation signed by Gov. Hugh Carey that protected thousands of artists and their families to remain in their lofts. He had numerous exhibitions during these years, including his one man show at Soho’s Cayman Gallery — “Pictures of an Eviction”. During the New York years, he became a beloved Hero and a legend to all NYC artists — while also garnering both national & international collectors.
In 1985, Pikus moved to Silverlake, Ca. It was here that he branched out from painted wood sculptures into a new art form that he innovated — “Harley-ism”. His unique chrome & metal sculptures are created from discarded motorcycle parts and flat rolls of sheet metal; some are raw chrome, others painted in bright, strong colors. He does not weld the pieces — they are bolted together to create a perfect balance of weight & form. The final sculptures are abstract versions of horses, musicians, dancers, female nudes & other persona.
In 2002, Mario Pikus moved to Rancho Mirage, Ca, where he continued to paint large, bold, colorful paintings — as well as creating even larger sculptures in his sculpture garden. Recently with the donations of not only discarded motorcycle parts but also airplane parts, he has created his new “hybrid” sculptures. In 2009, he was awarded “Best of Show” at Palm Springs Art Museum’s ACE for his sculpture “The New Ride”. In Nov. 2009, he was chosen for an installation of his Art pieces for the Dennis Lambert Concert at the Agua Caliente Showroom. He also exhibited at Cabot Museum’s Earthday (for his use of found & recycled metals). He had a highly successful one-man show at David Blank Gallery in Palm Desert, Ca. Then in 2012 he had an exhibition of selected drawings & paintings at the Palm Desert Community Gallery.
In Feb. 2012, his hybrid sculpture “Palm Springs – Color & Form” was awarded Best of Show by the Palm Springs 13th Annual Juried Art Show. Also in 2012, Pikus donated a new sculpture “Clouds in the Desert” to the Agnes Pelton Society’s new Sculpture Garden. In 2013 Mario hosted a Desert Arc Fundraiser with Steve Connelly, “Spirit of the King” as well as “The Wild & Mad Party” in association with the Stanley Kramer Film Festival at his home. In addition, in 2013 he was nominated to receive a Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars for “Humanitarian”. In 2014-2016 his 2 magnificent chrome & metal horse sculptures were selected to be in the El Paseo Sculpture Gardens in Palm Desert, Ca. Since Oct. 2015-present, his work has been on exhibit at Rebecca Fine Art Gallery in Cathedral City, Ca. His Cubist sculptures were selected to be on exhibit in the 2017 Palm Springs Art Fair. Pikus paintings can be seen in the current exhibit “Masters of Abstract Art” at Rebecca Fine Art Gallery, together with Joe Novak, Donald Spencer, Robert Tahar, Robert Reeves, & Nathan Slate Joseph. Also see more of Mario Pikus artworks on Rebeccafineart.net.
“MARIO PIKUS – ARTISTS RECEPTION” – SAT. March 4, 2017, 5:00-8:00PM – REBECCA FINE ART GALLERY, 68895 Perez Rd, #7, Cathedral City, Ca (760) 534-5888 – Rebeccafineart.net – Open Bar, Music, Great Art.