Painter James Michalopoulos, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1951, graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Shortly afterward he moved to New Orleans, where he has lived and worked since. His richly textured, color-saturated images of New Orleans have become iconic. It is through his paintings that many have come to know the city, its denizens and architecture.
Michalopoulos learned his trade by observing other artists—specifically the street artists who worked in and around Jackson Square. He took classes at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts and the University of New Orleans before he also became one of the Jackson Square street artists he had come to admire.
His colorful oil paintings are especially famous for their skewed perspectives and exaggerated points of view. He paints with a palette knife rather than brushes, and that contributes to the intense color and texture of his paintings. He’s a famously fast worker and is known to complete paintings within two to three days.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website