Performance boats are known for their sleek, expressive, and, sometimes, outlandish paint schemes. Some may think applying paint to a boat is a tedious, extensive process that requires hours of preparation and design. However, for Richard Lucente, this process comes as easy as a Sunday stroll through the park.
Richard, also known as Richy Rich, and dubbed “Artist From Hell” by his wife, Janet, is from Queens, NY. In Queens, Richy Rich found his love for art and aspired to become a professional artist. Having been a painter since he could walk, Richy became a self-made artist specializing in graffiti, acrylic/oil canvas painting, and airbrush artwork.
Custom painting by Richy (left) pictured with his happy clients, Bill Forenski and his wife, Patience.
After fulfilling a great career in custom airbrush art, Richy decided to take on a new, exciting challenge – painting boats. In 1999, Richy pursued a position at Ocean Performance where he met his mentors, Chris Cestaro and Carol Shabbot. They began to find willing customers for Richy to express his creative abilities on the biggest canvas that they could find him, which happened to be powerboats.
Reggie Fountain was the first one to spot Richy’s artwork, and he began to subcontract their world famous boats to him. With the reputation Richy received for his work for Reggie Fountain, Cigarette Racing Team took interest. With no true artist/painter in-house, Cigarette Racing Team hired Richy as their Director of Paint Operations. It wasn’t long before Richy got the whole paint facility up and running. From 2003-2009, Richy Rich painted in excess of seventy powerboats, from 38 Top Guns to 50’ Marauders.
Due to a declining economy, which was especially tough on the performance boat industry, Cigarette had no option but to let their highest paid painter go in 2009. Like many up-and-coming talents, Richy had to start from square one. Without a steady paying position, Richy had to make a decision on what was best for his career – stay in Miami, or to go back home to Queens.
Without hesitation, Richy decided to stay in Miami due to the incredible amount of opportunity for his particular talents. Richy received quick confirmation that he made the right decision after meeting his future wife, Janet.
Pictured: Richy and his wife, Janet.
Janet was unaware of the talent that Richy had. One night she stumbled upon Richy’s artwork on the Internet. After finding Richy’s custom artwork that he did for Fountain Powerboats and Cigarette Racing Team, she convinced him to get back to doing what he loves most – painting boats.
With Janet being tech-savvy, and Richy’s pure talent and impeccable reputation in the paint world, they decided to start a new company now known as Richy’s Custom Paint. Richy and Janet have put themselves back on the map with their honesty, integrity, quality work, innovative design, and extra attention to detail. Owners of Cigarette, Outerlimits, MTI, and Renegade powerboats seek the work of Richy’s Custom Paint to make their vision of a stunning boat a reality.
Beautiful 2007 Lip-Ship Edition 38 Top Gun with paint/design by Richy’s Custom Paint
Miss GEICO Update: Our last article, “Miss Geico Makeover by Richy’s Custom Paint” stated that the Geico fleet is getting a new design in the iconic neon yellow paint, however, the plans have changed. The Cigarette 38 Top Gun is getting new paint/design in “GEICO Blue.” As for the rest of the fleet, their design and color scheme are still a mystery. Be on the lookout for more updates on the Miss GEICO fleet on the Richy’s Custom Paint Facebook page, or on their website at richyscustompaint.com.
Here is an update on the Miss GEICO 38 Top Gun with photos provided by Richy’s Custom Paint: