Jimmie James' warm on a cold night is a nearly monochromatic, spontaneously drawn, abstract 15 x 14.75 inch work in acrylic with graphite on watercolor paper in a predominantly pale palette of whites with spare brushstrokes of light gray. An overall composition of small line drawings in pencil build up an inventory of directly drawn items, with no hierarchy. Looking closely, there is a small quickly drawn campfire in the lower left, a chair, table and a ladder in the lower right, an airplane in the upper right, and a variety of tools: scissors, hammers, pliers, a saw. Line work, etched into the surface of the paper shows through the veils of white paint, hinting at his temporal process of painting out, painting over. Clips of phrases and the seemingly unplanned linear gestures of the paintbrush move the eye around the work. Painting out drawn elements, which at times are etched into the surface of the paper, activates a sense of the slow erasure of memory. 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.