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My Journey

thus far...

Story by David ARRIGO January 6th, 2017

The long road

For as long as I can remember I always was fascinated with doodling and painting. I never had planned for this career choice but do remember noting in my high school yearbook that one day I would like to work for Disney. It didn't work out that way but I will never complain as I get paid for what I love to do: Create

I've really had no formal training but I know what I like. I focus on the means I take to complete my works, and understand sometimes my mode will come across as unconventional and even wrong to some purists, in the end I only have one person to answer to: The Client

I believe everyone's path is dictated not only by choice but serendipitous events and chance meetings. My career (a term I'm not entirely fond of) found me a little later in life and it wasn't completely by choice. In my early 20's I began by painting murals in restaurants and bars, that evolved into the sports world when I was discovered through one of these serendipitous events while painting murals at Wayne Gretzky's restaurant in Toronto.

Fast-forward to 1999 where path led me to painting Gretzky's induction mural at the Hockey Hall of Fame. It seemed like each event snowballed into something larger, this night at the HHOF opened up many opportunities that have and still shape me. Since this event the Hockey Hall of Fame induction has become a yearly tradition (with the exception of one year), and it has been a honour to paint at such a prestigious gala each time.

Wayne Gretzky's Restaurant - during its time was the most photographed wall in Toronto
My first taste of the NHL, painting Wayne Gretzky mural at the HHOF
Hockey Hall of Fame Induction 2016
Hockey Hall of Fame Induction 2012
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Dallas Stars Modano night.jpg
Coach's Corner


Over the years, I have had the incredible opportunity to meet some great people and create long lasting friendships. My travels have been extensive: from Tokyo, Japan to Kandahar, Afghanistan with numerous stops in between. I have been featured at numerous events hosted by such bodies as the NHL, MLB, NFL and NASCAR along with a couple of Winter Olympics (to name a few).

All of this has allowed me to have teamed up with different individuals/ groups and create some truly unique and memorable pieces.

Dave's Photos 005.jpg
david suicide girls.jpg
Sid and Dave.JPG
wille 2.jpg
KISS A (5).jpg
dave shelby tbirds.jpg
smitty retro 15 (4).JPG

every canvas is an invitation

Never able to work with just any one type of surface, my artwork has ranged from applications to canvases, goalie masks, motorcycles, cars, sides of buildings, musical instruments, and the list continues. My works have been reproduced in some instances as program covers, clothing and even a signature line of beer cans. I have been asked many times about my favorite surfaces/ favorite pieces, that's like asking a parent which is their favorite child, each individual has it's own uniqueness.

I'm hoping the next few sections give you a flavour for the my various offerings, enjoy!

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Kyle hi res photo.jpg
US Open 07.jpg
Sarah McLachlan - School of Music Fundraiser


My Live Mural eXperience (LMX) program has become my calling card, it encompasses all the favorite things of my job:

The list of events and the locations where I have been featured is as long as it is diverse, to name a few:

FINAL complete mural.jpg
Dave's Photos 001.jpg
Dave's Photos 186.jpg
esso tank.jpg
2010 Olympics lo res final.jpg

More about the lmx

The LMX can be tailored according to the desires of the client. Basically the duration of the event and room allotted will determine the overall look of the activation.

A great example and a favorite LMX of mine was when I was commissioned by Texas Motor Speedway to celebrate the retirement of NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon: 24ever

That was a pretty intense week in Dallas/ Ft. Worth, another fun one was New Jersey Devils Martin Brodeur's number retirement: MB30

Overall, the LMX is a great activation if you are looking to engage the public and media with an everlasting footprint, great for the entertainment value and even better for brand awareness with the amount of return foot traffic.

Portrait/ canvas pieces

Though I really enjoy painting just about anything, I take great pride in my portrait pieces. I like the challenge of capturing the spirit/ feel of the moment. For a number of years I have attempted to create a look and style that can be recognized as my own and now believe I have finally arrived. A number of my originals have been recreated as limited edition prints.

stars final.jpg
a Kings final - Copy.jpg
MB lo res.jpg
Mets final lo res.jpg
Ali GSP.jpg


Goalie masks have become a big part of my business over the years as well. If you asked me 10 years ago would I be interested in doing a mask I would have quickly declined, not sure why but that's exactly what I did during the 2007 NHL All Star Game in Dallas. Father of NHL goaltender Mike Smith (who then played for the Stars) approached me to do a mask and after a lot of back and forth I agreed. He sent me a blank mask where as it was close to the Christmas season. I thought it would be fun to have the Grinch on it stealing the emblems of the other divisional teams off the tree, this mask garnished a lot of attention to say the least. And so another facet to my art career began. To this day I consider Smitty a close friend and we together have completed some really memorable pieces.

SMIT LO2.jpg
SMIT LO4.jpg
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Smit15 b.jpg
Smit15 g.jpg
smitty12 lo res.jpg
smitty13 c.jpg

I've also had the great pleasure to work with other pros like Jason Labarbera, Brian Elliott, Carey Price, Brent Johnson to name a few. Along with the pros I've had some real memorable pieces created with beer league pros, kids of all ages, Lacrosse tenders and corporate partners. For a number of years I have been honoured to be the artist of choice to complete the Hockey Canada World Junior masks. Throughout my site, you will find more pics of other pretty cool pieces.

Johnny (1).jpg
Carey HC (4).jpg
Barbs 2010B (3)lo res.jpg
Carey 2010 A (4).JPG

Once I realized that painting masks wasn't so difficult after all, the potentials opened up; race helmets, motorcycles (one of my favorite pieces being the CAF tribute bike), cars, guitars and so on! Texas Motor Speedway for each race commissions me to complete helmets to be presented to each race pole winner.

Again, many more examples can be see throughout my site.

trevor bike (1).JPG
DLP tribute helmet collage.jpg
tms fall 14 i.jpg
Dave's Photos 004.jpg

There is so much more to share, stories to tell, I hope my site will do them some justice. My journey is still continuing, thank you for taking the time to join me on it. I leave you with a few more favorite pieces from years gone by.................

gretzky jordan illustration.jpg
pt print.jpg
Johnson Gordon print.jpg
r1 final.jpg
vittel final.jpg
Footnote: There are countless individuals along the way that I owe a great deal to, you know who you are and I am greatly thankful to you!