Davide Piubeni, LA street artist, was born in Sarezzo, Brescia, close to Milan in northern Italy, and graduated from l’Accademia delle Belle Arti Brera in Milan.
He’s 52 now, living in Culver City with his wife and children.
But with the soul of a pilgrim, he took a circuitous route to get here.
After graduating from college, he ended up in a little fishing village in northern Brazil called Viseu. He stayed six months and painted a three-panel mural in a local church.
Back in Italy, he painted little niches meant to hold a religious painting or sculpture for a time. Then the bishop in Brazil called him back to paint the Church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário e São Benedito in Paraty. “That was a big job. The fifteen mysteries of the rosary, 30-by-30 feet for each of 3 ½ walls.”
Around 2000, he finally made it to LA. He went to Beverly Hills and painted in the street: houses, gardens. “The lady of the house would see me, come out, and ask, ‘Why don’t you paint my house, too?’ ” He sold at least a hundred paintings that way.
He painted murals in a couple of local churches. Every three months his tourist visa would expire and he’d have to leave: Mexico, Canada, Italy, Brazil. He enjoyed the “precarity,” as he calls it. Nothing is forever.
Then he got a ticket to Peru — and a friend introduced him to the woman who became his wife.
They married in 2004, in the Church, at Lima. Both returned to LA and became citizens.
To work outdoors in Southern California is a joy, though there are many other places in the world he loves as well. Before he had a family, he’d travel up and down the coast, to San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Diego. Now, he stays on the local beaches, from Malibu to Pacific Palisades, San Clemente, Laguna.
“For me, it’s the Church. I obey the Church. I found my destiny in the Church. I need to have an experience of eternity now. The family, my wife, my kids, myself: all that is wonderful, but it’s not enough. How does Christ meet me? How does Christ manifest in my experience right now?”
He’d rather be doing religious painting. But no matter how great the art, and how much it might mean to the artist, with art alone he says, “you can arrive in purgatory, but not paradise.”
“Precarity means accepting the experience that God provides. If you get to do what you want all the time, you never get the experience that God provides.”
Full story at Angelus News.