Carolina Art Crush: Nicholas Napoletano

Although fairly new to Charlotte, Nicholas Napoletano (goes by Nick) is already  making a great impression in our Arts Scene. The extroverted painter makes an appearance at almost every opening and goes out of his way to meet and connect with others. His paintings are rendered in a hyper-realist classical style, typically featuring young, beautiful figures draped with silks. He has ambitions to add his work to Charlotte permanently in the form of outdoor murals. After the reception his new ArtPop Billboard received, we are sure the community would welcome it. Please enjoy getting to know this talented artist; we sure did!

HappeningsCLT: Describe yourself in three words.

Nicholas Napoletano: Concentrated, Thick skinned, Tangy …akin to an orange.

HCLT: When did you realize you were an artist?
NN: I’ve always been a maker of sorts. I think and function best when I’m working with my hands so being an “artist” was a natural fit.
HCLT: Who or what inspires you artistically?

NN: It’s a bit of a revolving door. Currently Heatherwick Studios, Diana Al-Hadid, Christian Rex Van Minnen, Magic Arm, Andrew Bird, Tony Matelli, Jean-Pierre Roy, Biophilic Design. Nordic Design. John Von Bergen, Son Lux, Hammershoi.

HCLT: Tell us about your current body of work?

NN: I have a few different veins of work. Over the past few years I have been working on an ongoing series in which 1-2 randomly selected individuals, unknown to both the artist and each other, are placed within a prefabricated box. The figures are requested to interact with the each other in the confined space in any manner they see fit over a one-hour period. The interaction is documented and turned into paintings.

HCLT: What do you think is the most valuable art experience in the Carolinas right now?
NN: I’ve really enjoyed The Dwelling, a pop-up exhibition project orchestrated by Kathleen Bloom.

HCLT: What is your number one art piece/place/event in this area?

NN: The first Monday of the month at Snug Harbor.

HCLT: What book is on your nightstand right now?

NN: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, Building Construction Illustrated, 2010’s Breaking Bad News with Baby Animals Postcard Calendar, and DIARY COMICS Collected Edition by Dustin Harbin. The latter is definitely worth checking out.
HCLT: Best meal in the Charlotte area?
NN: The Dragon Roll from Soul Gastrolounge is a staple, as are the pancakes from Fern.
HCLT: Where can we see your work?

NN: I am very excited to have an ArtPop billboard off Commonwealth in Plaza Midwood. You can also find my work on my website as well as an array of works in progress on Instagram @napoletanoart.
HCLT: What is up next?

NN: Bigger, multimedia work. I’m also hoping to take on more local murals! 

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