Waiting II (2018)
black & white water-based oil on Rives BFK
13 x 13 in.
I call myself “an illustrator of ideas,” and I work in series. This means that my work is characterized most often by an intellectual approach over a stylistic one. As a scholar, I am interested in the ideas of narrative and how reality is structured, e.g., whose story is told and what gets erased or obscured. As a visual artist, I am trying to mine the emotional tenor in these themes (including humor) and of certain states of being, specifically exile and redemption, tropes from 1950s popular culture, and appropriated FBI files. My craft as a painter centers on classical, figure-based painting. In my technical approach, I have adopted the 1960s Pop Artists’ credo “to make the real more real.” On the one hand, this is a silly statement, nonsensical unless contextualized in art history. On the other hand, the credo speaks to an art making process of copying, editing and ultimately distilling subject matter into a compelling image of immediacy. This is one of the key things that I try to do in my art.
© Linda James