Earlier this year, VIBE hit the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. While there, we decided to explore some of the faces behind the brushstrokes of the fest's famous posters.
James Michalopoulos has painted several Jazz Fest posters in years past. His artwork also lines the galleries on the French Quarter's famous art row, Royal Street. A Northeastern transplant, Michalopoulos hitchhiked to New Orleans more than 30 years ago. He painted en plein air, or outside in the open air, and found his way to Jackson Square where he began to hustle his art.
“There’s no color that I think of when I think of New Orleans, except the purple sky, which is a unique quality here,” he says. “There is much less restraint here in general. You will find a lot of freedom in the artwork that comes out in New Orleans.”
A few years ago, Michalopoulos began to try his hand at sculpture, which he describes as “more dangerous.”
Go inside his Marginy studio to learn more about Michalopoulos and his art.