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  • James Michalopoulos Bio Image
  • James Michalopoulos

    United States

    Art Brokerage: James Michalopoulos African American Artist: James Michalopoulos began his journey in 1951, the son of a prominent modernist architect father whose designs helped reshape downtown Pittsburgh. One of six children, he was raised in a home full of art, including paintings by his uncle, the influential surrealist painter William Baziotes. Despite all the artistic influence, Michalopoulos was drawn to science and economics and imagined a career in one of these fields. After graduation from Bowdoin College in 1974, he spent his postgraduate years consumed by work in the cooperative movement. He managed the Boston Food Coop and then founded and managed the Cambridge Cooperative, which became America's largest storefront coop. A strictly plein airpainter, Michalopoulos was challenged to find a winter locale to continue his work. In 1979, he was drawn to New Orleans as the last bastion of hippie bohemian culture in America. The city, and its "Culture of Celebration," held an intense appeal. Perhaps most importantly, it was affordable, enabling artists of all types to find a home. He began sketching artists and musicians, houses and street corners. Fascinated with the duality of beauty and decay, the architecture of the city became his muse. His portraits of shotgun houses and Creole cottages, captured in layer upon layer of thick impasto paint, brimmed with color and energy and captured the essence of his subject. This body of work established him as the most influential living artist in the region today.

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