North Shore Public Library presents “More Than Meets the Eye,” an exhibit by artist Nicholas Nappi from September 6-.27. Nappi, a Brooklyn native, is an acclaimed watercolorist, whose work has been recognized by the American Watercolor Society and the Audubon Artists Society of Illustrators. His paintings have been displayed in museums nationwide, from San Francisco to Mississippi. With this show, he is bringing his art home, as he currently splits time between a residence in Florida and one in Rocky Point, N.Y.
Nappi has been drawing since childhood, and has spent time studying in Positano, Italy, but most of his education and work has been based in New York. He studied at The Art Students League School of Visual Arts, and has worked in advertising as an art director. In this position, he was responsible for designing the posters and directing television commercials for many Broadway shows, including “Evita” and “A Chorus Line.”
Though Nappi is proud of having worked in theater, because of the history that many French artists, including Picasso, have in the industry, he takes unique pleasure from painting everyday occurrences. “More Than Meets The Eye” features 20 watercolor paintings with ink accents. The paintings depict ordinary scenes like landscapes and animals, but Nappi’s goal is to get his audience to view scenes carefully. “It’s not just the first glance,” he said. “If you look at the paintings and feel out the design and what’s happening there, there are things that are not apparent at a quick glance, you must study them.” His desire for the viewer to focus on the intricacies of his paintings inspired the title of the show.
Since Nappi values detail in his paintings, ink is one of his preferred mediums because of what he described as its “brilliance of color.” “Ink has a lot of dye in it, and it’s very intense. It’s a very bright color medium, you don’t get that in other paints,” he said.
His Rocky Point house is special to him, having once served as just a vacation home, where he and his family went on the weekends to escape the chaos of the city. It is located on a cliff overlooking the water, making it a perfect scene for one of Nappi’s paintings. “I have one called ‘Il Gatto.’ My cat is, at her want, sitting out looking at the water,” he laughed, describing his favorite painting in the show. “I think I’ve captured [her].”