James Green (British, b. 1989) paints indulgent, abstract images that critique (ratherthan celebrate) a system that favors the fortunate and neglects the less-so. Rooted in a balance somewhere between fine art tradition and contemporary practice, his paintings often include obscured faces, within spontaneous compositions. The works reject hierarchy and revel in their physicality, showcasing a thick impasto and boldcolour to challenge the notion of beauty in art. James exhibits his work internationally.
Green paints directly onto raw, unstretched canvas, working instinctively, without preamble or pause for thought. His earliest work was observational and figurative, with a kind of meticulous precision, but, having demonstrated this precocious skill, he felt free to cast-off formal technique and to work in a more expressive way, characterised by loose, vivid unpredictability. The first impression is of gestural vitality and rich painterly effect – bright colours merge into murky smudges; sharp definition blurs into misty formlessness. There are sweeping lines; scribbly detail; indistinct colour washes; paint drips, flows or clumps into crusty accretions. Suggestions of formal structure are quickly subverted. Amidst this abstract maelstrom there are hints of crude calligraphy, figuration and human faces – ambiguous, half-formed, partially erased.
“The last decade has been about dissecting the human form in a process that is energetic, spontaneous and organic. I now find it more powerful to capture the essence of a person rather than to render an exact image. The paintings I make today are one-offs that I couldn’t replicate. They are unique to specific moments, authentic to me. I don't look for or seek inspiration; I live my colourful life and allow that to guide the path for my practice.”