Give David Garibaldi a black canvas, a few cans of latex paint, some brushes and music and watch him dance and dazzle as he creates a portrait of someone famous — in about seven minutes.
His colorful portrayals include Michael Jackson, Bono, Rihanna, Jesus, John Lennon, Jay-Z, Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe.
“It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks learning a portrait,” Garibaldi said. “I start by finding a really, really distinctive image of the person and then trying to bring it to life. And then I put those together and sort of figure out if I can make it entertaining.”
Millions across the country have been entertained by his high energy and enthusiasm on “America’s Got Talent.” He’s a semifinalist with his act, David Garibaldi and His CMYK’s.
Garibaldi will bring his “Rhythm and Hue” show to the SeaGate Centre on Aug. 7 at 6 p.m. for the Hollywood Casino Gala Dinner and Show, which will also feature comedian Tom Dreesen. Tickets to the charity fundraiser are $235 and available by calling the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic tournament office at (419) 531-3277.
“I have to credit Mr. [Shawn] Sullivan, my animation teacher at Sheldon High School [in Sacramento], for coming up with [‘Rhythm and Hue,’]” Garibaldi said. “It just described everything, like who I am and where I was, where I’m going with the show — it’s music and color.”
It was 2003 when the former graffiti artist saw a painting of Jimi Hendrix by Denny Dent, known for his “two-fisted art attack” while capturing rock stars on canvas.
“I was inspired because I could see what was possible, what I could do with all these life passions,” Garibaldi said of art, music and dance. “So literally the next day, I started trying to figure out, OK, how do I do this now?”
Since putting it all together, the 30-year-old has opened for Snoop Dogg and the Blue Man Group. While music plays by the subjects of his paintings, he also is accompanied by DJ Joseph ONE and drummer Walt Williams.
During a phone interview from Minneapolis, Garibaldi said he’s heard from some of the artists he’s painted, including Kanye West, Rihanna and Carlos Santana.
“Some of them have shared videos of me creating their portrait on Twitter, on Facebook or they’ve at least sent their acknowledgement over social media. It’s definitely been cool to get those responses,” he said.
Garibaldi is also known for giving. In the past 10 years, he has raised more than $1 million for several organizations, including the Special Olympics, Echoes of Hope and World Vision.
“Art and music are powerful because as artists, we can take materials that are only a few hundred dollars in value and we can create something on them or with them and turn them into something with thousands of dollars of value, and that money can go and help a lot of different people that can use it, that really need it,” he said.
“My passion is painting, and I think you can change painting in that phrase with anything, whether it’s teaching, writing, whether it’s working at the local grocery store — whatever you do, you can do with passion. And when you apply a purpose behind it, I think that’s when it becomes something more than, to me, just painting — I’m helping change lives.”
For more information, visit the website garibaldiarts.com.