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James Swinson / national

Through the use of color, size and scale, the use of words and text, photographic transfers, mixed media prints and works on canvas, wood, metal and other materials, he has created a vast, diverse body of work, spanning over the last two decades. He has established his artistic credibility; taking chances, mixing and fusing styles, materials and techniques.

Presentation

James Swinson is a West Coast artist living and working in LA and the San Francisco Bay Area. He is an innovator and strong advocate for the arts, working in all aspects of the art community, and dividing his time between curating, showing, and making art.

Biography

James Swinson is a West Coast artist living and working in LA and the San Francisco Bay Area. He is an innovator and strong advocate for the arts, working in all aspects of the art community, and dividing his time between curating, showing, and making art.

Through the use of color, size and scale, the use of words and text, photographic transfers, mixed media prints and works on canvas, wood, metal and other materials, he has created a vast, diverse body of work, spanning over the last two decades. He has established his artistic credibility; taking chances, mixing and fusing styles, materials and techniques.

James Swinson draws from a wide range of influences, from straight painting reminiscent of early 50s abstraction to 80s neo-expressionism and beyond. In 2011, he created 22 new paintings which he called “punk pop collages,” successfully addressing another issue; post modernism with a twist? Had punk art finally grown up? The work was sophisticated and mature, cohesive and stylized, while still maintaining a raw, unpretentious, youthful energy.

From his first solo debut show of large scale rhythm drawings in 1984, to his 2003 solo political pop show “Between Life and Art,” to his 2011 solo show of 25 mixed-media combine paintings for Oakland’s Art Murmur, to creating three original East Bay Express newspaper boxes for Oakland’s 2012 Art & Soul Festival, he has continued to prove his commitment to surviving and thriving as an artist.

Participating in many fundraising events, he has contributed art pieces, and worked with organizations and galleries such as Midnight Mission, Pro Arts, Creative Growth Art Auctions, Childrens’ Light, and the LA County Cultural Affairs Department. His paintings and mixed-media combines have appeared in a number of television and film productions including CSI: New York, Lost, Brothers & Sisters, Without a Trace, and Men of a Certain Age.

Whether in the studio painting, writing, recording music, or performing, as an artist and musician, he has stayed true to his dream; writing songs like a storyteller, playing guitar with a hard driving rhythm, and painting like there’s no tomorrow.

In his own words: “Take risks. Don’t second-guess your decisions, think of the bigger picture to alter your perception and evoke change. Keep an open mind. Always ask questions, push your limits, and question the very nature of art itself.”

Exhibitions

Artworks