Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that popular Miami modern artist and muralist David “LEBO” Le Batard has been commissioned to paint the signature hull artwork for Norwegian Getaway, launching in January 2014. At an event held at LEBO’s Wynwood studio, the company also revealed the hull artwork, which features a whimsical tropical ocean theme complete with a mermaid holding the sun, pelicans and palm trees, befitting the ship’s year-round home port of Miami.
“Norwegian Getaway will be Miami’s ship and, therefore, we wanted to ensure that her hull was designed by an artist with strong ties to Miami and the Latin community,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Having begun his career in South Florida, Dave is an artist that is entrenched here. His work adorns the city and I’ve learned that he is also a genuinely nice guy. He is a shining star in Miami, as well as the global art community.”
Born in New York City in 1972 to Cuban émigré parents, LEBO was raised in South Florida and was heavily influenced by Miami’s Cuban art scene.
“Having grown up in South Florida, the ocean has been an immense presence in my life and has been infused into my work as an artist,” said David “LEBO” Le Batard. “When I was asked to design the artwork for Norwegian Getaway, I saw an opportunity to create a prominent image, one that would surely help define the Miami seascape and illustrate the world-class experience that Norwegian Cruise Line has come to stand for. It is truly an honor to have been offered this canvas, as it gives the world an opportunity to see my work in a way few artists ever get to see in their entire lives.”
According to LEBO, Norwegian Getaway’s hull art design is centered on a mythical mermaid, an iconic image that represents humanity’s connection to the sea, and features her seemingly skimming across the surface of the water. Surrounding the mermaid is a fusion of sea and sky dancing across the ship, where three pelicans gracefully glide along in the artist’s version of a tropical paradise.
“LEBO’s incredible design reflects all of the elements that Miami is known for – sea, sun and paradise,” said Sheehan. “This artwork will surely make Norwegian Getaway an iconic part of the Miami skyline when she arrives as Miami’s largest year-round ship in 2014.”
With paintings on exhibition in museums and galleries worldwide including Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Toronto, South Africa, Germany and Italy, LEBO is one of Miami’s most beloved and predominant Modern artists. His murals and site-specific installations have energized communities such as Miami’s Calle Ocho, Uptown New Orleans and downtown San Francisco. Inspired by his work on Norwegian Getaway, LEBO will be revealing his latest series of paintings, entitled “Where our souls meet the sea,” during Art Basel week in Miami.
Widely recognized for his work in a wide spectrum of creative mediums including murals, paintings and sculptures, LEBO (www.lebostudios.com) is known as the innovator of Post-modern Cartoon Expressionism, a movement that combines cartoon imagery with bold color and unique linear composition. The resulting art ranges from abstract to highly narrative, creating an artistic movement prized among naturalists and architects. LEBO’s formal arts training began at Florida International University in Miami and further developed during his residency at the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, Florida.
His work with such renowned companies as Gibson Guitars, Ferrari and Harley Davidson, as well as Latin pop singer Gloria Estefan, whose newest album cover features his design, has cemented his status as one of the preeminent modern artists of his generation.
Currently being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Getaway will be 146,600 gross tons and offer a wide range of accommodations. The ship represents an opportunity for the Norwegian guest to “get away” from the routine of work, school, and
daily stress, and find a true respite at sea that reflects the energy and culture that Miami is known for worldwide.