Mural at AerialCLT
Backstory and Context
With the Cultural Vision Grant, the Arts & Science Council funds projects that seek to build community and increase diverse representation. The artist presents seven portraits of real women. This group of women is racially diverse and LGBTQ inclusive. The artist found his models with the help of Time Out Youth, a local organization that provides a safe space and support for LGBTQ youth.
Key Formal Elements:
- Scale – notice that the portraits are over life-size
- Complementary colors of blue/orange simplify the background
Nick Napoletano is an internationally known artist who came to Charlotte around 2015 when the mural scene was starting to explode. Napoletano has murals all over the city including South End, the Elizabeth, and Midtown area, Optimist Park, and NoDa. His realistic portraits are a hallmark of his style along with often highlighting social causes and celebrating beauty.
Napoletano portrays humanity in his hyper-realist portraits along the side of this very visible building. The simple background of limited colors allows you to focus on the exceptional details in the portraits. Notice the modeling or shading of each of the faces. Find the highlights or lightest areas on each one and then begin to appreciate the many different shades of color represented in each face. Of his art, Napoletano says, “A marker of successful public art in my eyes is work that functions as a mirror, identifying a truth about the world we live in while paving the way for the future we want to create,” he said.
Pettit, Bernie. Nicholas Napoletano Mural to Activate North Tryon Corridor, Arts and Science Council. March 30th 2017. Accessed March 19th 2021. artsandscience.org/nicholas-napoletano-mural-north-tryon/.