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Clark Hipolito: Meet the Raleigh Artist whose work you’ve seen but whose name you’ve probably never heard of

RALEIGH (WTVD) – You may not be an art connoisseur and may never have heard of Raleigh artist Clark Hipolito, but you’ve probably seen his work.

Much of his artwork is very public and has adorned the interior and exterior of buildings across the triangle for decades.

In a recent story about a patient’s right to know hospital costs prior to surgery, we featured one of his recreated murals.

Hipolito doesn’t mind that you may not know him by name.

In the late 1980s he began designing television and film sets. Over the next decade, he began painting murals.

But it’s his artwork on surfboards and guitars that helped define the latter part of his career.

“My goal in life was to work and play at the same time,” said Hipolito at The Art Company’s Raleigh studio.

So it was only natural that he added his artwork to two of his favorite toys: surfboards and guitars.

Soon the surfing world and the rock world became aware of it.

“This is a guitar I made for Jonathan Cain of Journey,” said Hipolito while touring his studio.

The keyboardist and guitarist for the rock band Journey isn’t the only – or even the biggest – celebrity who is a Hipolito customer.

“I worked for Robert Plant,” he said.

Plant is the front man of the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin.

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“Most of these artists I work with give me guitars or they give me something personal, surfboard to paint – and you know he had a tambourine?” said Hipolito. “That was the smallest thing I’ve ever painted.”

He has also painted for NASCAR driver Jimmy Johnson and former NC State and NFL player Mario Williams.

Hipolito works with all sorts of products, with acrylic paint being his favorite.

He also works in large formats, very large formats.

Its murals have adorned buildings across the triangle for decades, including some of the most popular entertainment, dining, and drinking venues.

So he agrees to be one of the most successful artists on the triangle art scene, even if his name remains largely unknown.

“I’ve always been the artist behind the artists, and I think that’s really cool,” he said.

He credits a number of paintings from his early career called The Lightning Field for showing him he can make a living from art and for inspiring him to start The Art Company.

The rest is history for the son of Filipino parents, who was fed up with the New York art scene and moved to Raleigh, North Carolina of all places almost three decades ago.

“I love the atmosphere here in North Carolina. There are as many creative guys here as there are in New York City, but you just don’t usually hear about them. I just don’t think people think of it like the art scene or the music scene when they first think of North Carolina. And then, when they get down there, it’s a completely different ball game. “

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