NEW ORLEANS (press release) – In response to popular demand, James Michalopoulos’ exhibition, “From the Fat Man to Mahalia: Paintings by James Michalopoulos” at the New Orleans Jazz Museum has been extended through Labor Day. Five additional paintings have been added to the show.
This musical retrospective features over fifty works and spans recent paintings of street musicians to rarely-seen works borrowed from private collections across the United States–including the original painting of Louis Armstrong for the Jazz Fest poster, which hasn’t been on view to the public in over 20 years. An Artist Talk and Book Signing will take place on Monday, May 2, from 6-8 p.m.
“My work tends towards the expressionistic. It is gestural, energetic, and colorful. I think there is a quality of movement in most of it. This is due to my ability to sense the pulse of people and objects. I love the lyric that life can be: off-kilter, chaotic, and colorful, a kaleidoscopic unfolding. I try not to interpret too much because I believe it stifles the work. The picture is a boogie and I’m the boogie man. I am a medium for an inspirational circumstance. I’m on the lookout for the enlivening.” -James Michalopoulos
“James is the region’s most recognized living artist, and we want to ensure that his audience has the opportunity to visit this important show that celebrates the music and culture of the city,” said Greg Lambousy, Museum Director. “With this extension, the show will now overlap with Jazz Fest, allowing visitors to see the iconic paintings that were the source of numerous beloved Jazz Fest posters throughout the years. Our sincere thanks goes out to the collectors from all across the country, who have generously loaned artwork.”
“James Michalopoulos’ paintings of New Orleans’ musical legends show his understanding of their style as well as their psyche. This insight extends to his portraits of the nameless musicians on the street or in the corners of the music clubs of the city. The exuberance of music-making is what this exhibit is all about,” David Kunian, exhibition curator.
“The power in James’ work lies in his ability to transport the viewer. He captures that New Orleans musical experience which can’t be replicated: costumed second lining at carnival, grooving with a brass band on a 300 year-old French Quarter corner, Kermit Ruffins at the Mother In Law Lounge. This is the heartbeat of New Orleans soul and culture on canvas. After two years of silence this is the moment to reflect on the New Orleans experience and why it matters.” Tatianna Macchione, Director Michalopoulos Gallery
The mission of the New Orleans Jazz Museum is to celebrate the history of jazz, in all its forms, through dynamic interactive exhibits, multi-generational educational programming, research facilities, and engaging musical performances. The Jazz Museum enhances New Orleans’ ongoing cultural renaissance by providing diverse resources for musicians and music lovers of all languages and nationalities. The museum fully explores America’s quintessential musical art form in the city where jazz was born.
Jazz Museum is located at 400 Esplanade Avenue. Hours are: Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information visit nolajazzmuseum.org.