By Janee Law
Internationally renowned pop-artist Romero Britto is gearing up to display some of his colorful, wacky and whimsical works at a Northport Village gallery next week.
“I’m very excited about working with them and showing my work in that part of New York,” Britto said of LaMantia Gallery, which is found at 127 Main St. “I’ve worked several months on those pieces and it’s going to be very unique.”
Britto is known as a neo-pop artist, sculptor, painter, and serigrapher, creating impressive collections of work that feature bold and colorful patterns to reflect his optimistic view of the world around him.
James LaMantia, gallery owner, said he’s expecting large turnouts for the display, which will preview on July 15, and then open to the public July 22-23.
LaMantia said welcoming an artist like Britto is a complement to the gallery and more importantly a complement to art collectors across Long Island.
“After being in business for 27 years, our gallery has been drawing more and more big name artists like Britto, who want to do exhibitions here. They want to do it because of our collector base,” LaMantia said. “They know that Long Islanders are knowledgeable about art and truly appreciate fine art so we’ve become sort of a stop, where artists have to have exhibitions.”
Britto, 53, was born in Recife, Brazil, where he taught himself the craft, painting on surfaces like newspapers. He was 14 years old when he developed his passion for art, which he attributes to travel, traveling through stamps that is.
“I was a postage stamp collector,” he said. “I loved collecting stamps from every country, so I did colleges with my stamps.”
At age 14, he would’ve never thought that his art would transform his life, Britto said.
When he traveled to Paris in 1983, Britto was introduced to the work of Matisse and Picasso, inspiring him to combine cubism with pop to create a vibrant and iconic style. Britto emerged as an international artist in 1988 when he moved to Miami.
His work has been featured in galleries and museums in over 100 countries and has collaborated with global brands, including Audi, Bentley, Coco-Cola, Walt Disney, Evian, Hublot, Mattel, and FIFA, where he created the official poster for the 2010 World Cup.
In addition, Britto has done several portraits for celebrities, such as Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, Elton John, Madonna, Martha Stewart and more.
The display will be open to the public, and Britto’s works will be available for purchase. Romero is set to make appearances at the gallery when the display is open to the public on both July 22, 6-8 p.m., and July 23, 2-4 p.m.
“When people go to art gallery exhibitions, they always want to have the experience of being inside the mind of the artist,” Britto said. “My hope is that people attracted to my art look for images that make them excited, make them happy, and make them feel good. That’s the most important thing.”