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James Michalopoulos

Artist; Gallery Owner; Founder and Owner, Old New Orleans Rum

jeffery johnston

You are from the Northeast, but now you’re arguably one of the most iconic artists in New Orleans; tell us how that happened? I embraced the culture, and I think because of that the paintings are harmonic with the basis of that culture. The paintings move and groove. There is mystery, space and depth. There is a musical aspect; a rhythmic quality to the images. Effectively the paintings are freely executed in the spirit of celebration. This spirit is the base of our culture, and you can feel it in the work.

What was it like drawing and working in the French Quarter? It was a great school. I was in Pirate’s Alley with the other artists that could not get a license.

You have painted many famous people; which one is your favorite? How can you pick between Dr. John, Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino?
Your career has many highlights; tell us about your favorite? It was a sellout show at my gallery on Chartres Street that I opened 15 years ago – I sold 35 paintings in one night.

You were also Art Director for “Live at the House of Blues and NBC in Concert,” where people say you painted some of the most influential stage sets in the country; what was that like? It was fantastic going across the country from Los Angeles to New York, creating 35 sets over a period of five years.

What are you excited about? A series of fish images for a show in Hawaii and our platinum award for our 20th anniversary at Old New Orleans Rum.


617 Bienville St.



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