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Friday, December 17, 2004 - 08:18:24 AM PST

by Guy Caputo, contributor,

The "Joy" of Airbrushing

Art comes in many forms, shapes and expressions. It transcends attitude amongst humanity and crosses all boundaries of objectivity when given thought to by the human brain. Art is whatever you perceive it to be, be it sculptures, paintings, pictures, or just a simple assembly of Mr. Potato Head by your child. It is an expression of human ability to make things by the creativity of man as distinguished from the world of nature. 
I have witnessed motors being built in various shops where an art form takes place during its assembly. Putting together the fastest bike on the track can be considered an art, along with the rider who rides the bike down the track flawlessly, a work of art in itself. 
I wanted to introduce to you an artist I found a few years ago who has transformed my own personal street bike, helmets and leathers into what I consider, a true work of art. Joy Argento of Rochester, New York is an airbrush artist who has been plying her skills of airbrushing to whatever material you can imagine. Her specialty and love of art encompasses the world of animals. Because of the variety of subjects in the animal kingdom, her trade is never without a subject. If you can picture it in your mind, she can apply it to whatever surface you can imagine. 
My favorite animal is the tiger as most of you know. They are magnificent creatures in the feline family and represents my attitude in my life towards my hobbies, work and even how I play. Joy was able to capture my feelings and attitudes through her art when she airbrushed my entire racing ensemble. She masterfully depicted tigers on my gas tank, fairing, helmets, and even my leathers I wear for racing at my local track on the weekends. As you can see from her abilities, she is truly an artist in every sense of the word. If you can think it in the animal kingdom, she can airbrush it with every detail. 

Joy explained to me that she not only paints the image of the animal you want, but can even put a sense of attitude to it to match the owner. Her airbrush art is depicted in published art books, collector plates and even some greeting cards you may have bought at one time or another. As a mother of three, her trade can be most demanding of her. 

I asked her what her secret was for being able to make her art come alive when she applies it to the object she is working on. She told me that every animal that was put on this earth has it's own beauty, and her desire to bring out that beauty in this art medium made her feel accomplished. People have been bringing her everything from car hoods to saw blades to rocks to paint on in her14 years of trade. 

When she airbrushed my leathers, I was amazed at the intricacies of her airbrush work. Even the tiger's whiskers, which seem to move as I move, were airbrushed and actually look like 3-D whiskers. The tail on the back/bottom of my leathers was her idea of a laugh whenever people would see the back of me. 

The special paint/dye Joy uses on leather actually impregnates the leather so that it moves and stretches with the leather as you move. It will not chip, flake, fade or peel off when used and last for the lifetime of the leather. What a fabulous way to dress up your bracket leathers and get that custom look to them for such a small investment. Joy says that airbrushing on leathers can cost anywhere from $50 to several hundred depending on the amount and size of the artwork wanted. She can do any animal, object, cartoon character, or graphic you desire on just about anything you desire. 

Joy Argento can be reached at "Art By Joy", P.O. Box 295, Penfield, New York, 14526 , by e-mail at

If you have ever wanted something really special expressed on your bike, helmet, leathers or whatever you can think of but didn't know where to have it done, give Joy a call, you won't be disappointed. 

Until next time. -

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