Having lived and been educated in Christchurch, Nelson and Auckland, James is currently residing in Dunedin where he completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting in 2001.
By calling upon an upbringing described as dysfunctional and problematic, James’s honest and uncompromising art is both emotionally cathartic and cynically anti-establishment. Questions of ego, self esteem and identity perpetuate throughout the works, where personal angst and psychoses inscribe the canvases and insecurities are bared for the public to inspect and cast judgement on. Society likewise comes under scrutiny, where issues such as materialism, religious hypocrisy, self-focus and shortsighted and shallow fixations are examined, then scathingly denounced and condemned. Humour (often black) and irony are integral to this grungy, urban type of art with its graphic cartoon and stick figures and graffiti-style messages scrawled in a messy, loose and child like manner.
They are complicated works, energetic, texturally interesting and tonally successful, effective from a distance but begging for a closer inspection. Spontaneous, sometimes surreal but never contrived, James’s quirky creations may be disquieting or even offensive to some but empathetic, refreshing and liberating to others. ©