To Greg Polisseni, Paychex provided everything, except a way out.

His father, Gene Polisseni, helped Tom Golisano build Paychex into the empire it is today.

The work became a family affair with Greg, as a boy, filling envelopes deep into the night.

While the endeavor enriched the Polisseni family; it also left Greg feeling tethered to the company.

“Absolutely, that always weighed on me,” Polisseni said. “It pretty much buried anything that was me because anywhere I went or anything that I did people said, ‘Oh, well, he’s so-and-so’s son, he’s Gene Polisseni’s son, he’s Wanda Polisseni’s son.’ Nobody ever saw me for who I was.”

Added to that challenge was the sudden death of Polisseni’s sister at a young age, plus numerous injuries that came with Polisseni’s hobby, motocross.

Emotional and physical pain gripped Polisseni through young adulthood.

Eventually he began to paint.

“I found that abstract art was the soul of who I was,” Polisseni says.

Many of his pieces, while at first glance wild and turbulent, bring their creator a sense of peace.

“Everything I do is somehow based on issues or tragedies or hardships I’ve endured through life and always trying to find my oasis and that is through the eye of the storm, you find a better place at the other end,” he said.

Then came the decision to transfer his art into clothes.

Polisseni now has his own New York City-based clothing line called Artistix.

Despite all the work that demands his attention downstate, Polisseni still lives in his Henrietta home.

“I can always create wherever I go, but after already losing a sister at a young age and a father at a young age, time to me here with my close network of friends and family is more important than living in New York City,” Polisseni said.

To Polisseni breaking free wasn’t about escaping a place or his people; it was about escaping expressive restraints he found in his name.