Artist’s eclectic, in-your-face paintings tell stories


Mike Persichetti displays some of his eclectic paintings at the Art Gallery of Viera.

Judy Berman

Steven Tyler’s concert screams can almost be heard emanating from Mike Persichetti’s painting. 

That’s how real the Aerosmith lead singer appears on the Suntree artist’s canvas.

“That’s one of my favorites,” said his wife, Denae, who encouraged him to paint it.

Persichetti said his art can best be described as in-your-face, bright, large-scale, eclectic pop art. You can see some of his paintings at the Art Gallery of Viera in The Avenue.

“I like whatever is fun to paint. Like musicians have their own sound, I want mine to be my own style, not like everyone else’s,” he said.

He says Garibaldi, an American performance artist, influenced his style. 

“I like the way Garibaldi’s paintings look … the way it splatters, the way the paint drips. It’s not perfect. But it’s how he sees it,” he said.

About 10 years ago, Persichetti saw Garibaldi, in concert, paint a full-scale painting in 6 to 10 minutes. That inspired him to create time-lapse videos of his own works. 

Persichetti paints whatever looks fun to paint — Audrey Hepburn, Beetlejuice or Uncle Scrooge.

“We’re Disney people. He will take pictures to remember later even when we’re on the Winnie the Pooh ride (when it’s moving),” Denae said. “He’s always working hard at his craft, watching videos to learn something new.” 

“I like to create a vibe. Something that makes people feel good,” Persichetti said.

His painting of the late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was on the cover of Forbes’ Mixology magazine in January along with Chris Adams, owner of the Los Angeles-based Mixology.

It’s one of five of Persichetti’s paintings hanging in the company’s building. Adams said Mixology is a lifestyle brand and part of what they do is storytelling.

“All of the paintings he’s done have a lot of depth, a lot of layers and tell stories,” Adams said of Persichetti, who is his brother-in-law.

Adams notes the colors used in Bourdain’s painting — the reds, greens and whites.

“If you look at Bourdain’s travels, the colors are of the flags of Italy, Spain and Mexico. That painting unintentionally just screams Italy. It’s just very deep. Whether the artist intended it or not, it speaks to you,” Adams said.