POSTED: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 8:04am
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WGNO-CNN) — "It was almost an accident for me, something I got into a bit later in my life, in my late 20's, and I find myself gradually falling deeper and deeper into it," says artist James Michalopoulos.
Through the years artist James Michalopoulos has found all sorts of ways to express himself through art. One of his latest works singles out a New Orleans legend, Aaron Neville. It's actually the 2013 Jazz Fest poster.
It took Michalopoulos about six weeks to complete the painting and once he was done, the subject, Mr. Aaron Neville himself stopped by to have a look.
"He loved it. Yeah, it's great," says Michalopoulos, "For me it's nervous. I feel like in spite of your best intentions and effort, you never really know. You cannot predict how someone is going to finally react to it."
This is Michalopoulos' 6th time working on the Jazz Fest poster. It's the first time Aaron Neville has been featured without the Neville Brothers.
"I see him in the street there, and he's with a tambourine, of course, and this is him in full expression. So he's out in the world and in this particular situation in the street in front of a sidewalk with a cemetery in the background and in full swing singing his heart out."
The painting is titled Heart Song. It's huge, about eight feet tall by four feet wide. It's almost big enough to capture the passion behind Aaron Neville, the talent of James Michalopoulos and the spirit of Jazz Fest.