Artist Spotlight: Al Battista
I started my pinstriping journey at age 17 ( 1957) at one of the East Coast’s premiere custom builders; Bernardo Auto Body. I studied hard and earned the pinstriping name, Al “Brush” Battista. Of course, I pinstriped my own car and along with others I did, they ended up in national car magazines. From there, I perfected my pinstriping trade into working at both the Autorama and the World’s Fair Auto Show, where I was the on-site pinstriper.
Next up was a stint as a singer, in the Doo Wop sounds so well-known on the East Coast. I started out with The Havens and they morphed into The Barries, who were then signed by the Tokens. Ten years covered my singing and some of the songs are still on YouTube.
Using my design skills, I became the creative director for a Madison Avenue advertising agency. That gig would last 42 years. Upon retiring from advertising, my fellow pinstripers talked me into picking up my brushes again. The return to my passion of pinstriping has been the opportunity of a lifetime for me. I tend to use the word ‘passion’ to describe my pinstriping. Later, it turned out I had the same passion for making my own wine. From mixing grapes to filling bottles, I got heavily involved and enjoy it with friends.
I also enjoy attending numerous Charity Panel Jams to help needy causes. Much to my delight, I often see my wine bottles get even more distinct. Painters often lay down art around the labels I designed, and I enjoy seeing what they do to them. It’s apparent those pinstripers also have passion for their art. So, I get to live my favorite passions. In fact, the labels on my wine read, “My art + my wine = my passion.”