Renowned Miami Artist "Lebo" Designer of Norwegian Getaway's Hull Artwork Dies Age 50

Aug 01, 2023

Miami's art community and admirers of David "Lebo" Le Batard worldwide are grieving the sudden passing of the Cuban-American graphic and fine artist. Lebo, celebrated for his distinctive style, had a vast portfolio that included collaborations with iconic brands such as Ferrari, Google, Redbull, and Norwegian Cruise Line. 

On Tuesday, his brother, Dan Le Batard, announced the heartbreaking news of his death.

Among Lebo's towering achievements as an artist was the inspiring hull artwork of the magnificent 146,000-gross-ton cruise ship, Norwegian Getaway. This artistic endeavor, featuring animated mermaids painted in vibrant Caribbean hues, left a lasting mark on the ship, making it instantly recognizable in any port it docked.

The visionary artist's artwork embodied a captivating mermaid lifting the sun amidst a swirling fusion of the sky and sea, accompanied by three pelicans. Lebo's thoughtful incorporation of symbolism added depth to the design, with pelicans symbolizing safe passage and charity. The artistry beautifully reflected the essence of Miami – a paradise of sea and sun.

The Norwegian Cruise Line paid tribute to the talented artist with a heartfelt statement, celebrating his life and legacy. "Today, we celebrate the life of our friend and artist David 'LEBO' Le Batard, hull artist of Norwegian Getaway. Thank you for sharing your light within the Miami community and around the world. We're honored to share your artistry and cultural legacy as Norwegian Getaway sails across the globe."

Describing the project as his most ambitious yet, Lebo acknowledged the profound impact it had on his career. Not only did the hull artwork bring his creativity to an international audience, but it also connected him with art lovers worldwide. His reach extended beyond the maritime borders, leaving a mark on communities across the globe.

Lebo's artistic brilliance was not confined to the ship's hull alone. His paintings, displayed in museums and galleries worldwide, had captured the imagination of art enthusiasts from Los Angeles to Germany. Miami, however, held a special place in his heart, where his murals and site-specific installations energized communities like Calle Ocho, Uptown New Orleans, and Downtown San Francisco.

Inspired by his work on Norwegian Getaway, Lebo unveiled a series of captivating paintings entitled "Where Our Souls Meet The Sea" during Art Basel Miami 2012. Known as the innovator of Post-Modern Cartoon Expressionism, his style masterfully combined cartoon imagery, bold colors, and unique linear compositions.

David "Lebo" Le Batard's passing leaves a void in the world of art, but his legacy will continue to inspire and touch the hearts of many. Miami, in particular, will forever cherish the contributions of one of its most beloved and well-known artists. As the city mourns, it also celebrates the vibrant and enduring spirit of Lebo's art forever.