Jimmie James' give and take is a spontaneously drawn, abstract 14.25 x 19 inch work with in colored pencils and acrylic on watercolor paper in a predominantly pale palette of whites with spare touches of green, blue and red. In this work, James' automatic drawing defines the central figure of a kneeling woman with an object to her left, and organic, plant-like shapes to her right. Written in the artist's hand the words "give and take" are circled in the upper left: an invocation of sorts. James' poetic compositions veer between figuration and abstraction: the recognizable and the mysterious. Painting out drawn elements, which at times are etched into the surface of the paper, activates a sense of the slow erasure of memory. Beautifully economic line drawings define two central figures, one holding out a candlestick to the other. Harnessing a powerful economy of line, James' figural drawings are imbued with a deep sense of humanity and emotion. James frequently uses automatic drawing in his work to free his hand from the control of his mind, shapes arriving on the support directly from his unconscious. This is an unframed painting on paper.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jimmie James is a poet, painter, actor and singer/songwriter. This renaissanced artist has long been a fixture of New York City's art, theater and music scene, showing at a number of galleries including 571 Projects, Andrea Schwartz Gallery, Boltax Gallery, and Thomas Werner Gallery, to name a few. He has performed in works by theatrical luminaries including Richard Maxwell, Christina Masciotti, Danny Hoch, and Susan Lori Parks, and has composed for theater and film, where projects include Seth Zvi Rosenfeld's "Everything's Turning into Beautiful," Amos Poe's "Empire II."
Whether painting, performing or composing, Jimmie James' work remains accessible while refusing containment. He is doggedly trans-disciplinary: part shaman, part poet, part craftsman. Combining paint, fiber, word and image into tapestry-like works on canvas and paper, he creates pieces that exhibit a strong sense of emotional integrity and truth, through spontaneous, organic line work and considered use of color.
Jimmie James' works are present in a number of private collections. Recently returned from gallery exhibitions and performances in Japan, Thailand and Spain, he currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.