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Modern mythos interweaved with elements of imagination

Behind the curtain of illusion lies the exhibition from Alexander James drawing parallels to a fantasy world of his own, amalgamated by paintings and videos

London based hotel, The Columbia, have opened a gallery space called The Bakery, dedicated to young artists and their creations. Josh Fresco and Marisa Bellani, The Bakery’s founders, hope that this can become a place to discover art in the heart of West London, thanks to a program aimed to showcase a number of artists. The second exhibition hosted by The Bakery features the work of Alexander James. The artist has chosen a series of paintings that melt memories together, a suggestion from modern mythos and reflections on the nature of success. The spark that ignited this collection of works came from the ordinary: during a decluttering in his home, James found a crate full of books from children author’s Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake. By connecting Blake’s style with his own studies about illustration, he began an exploration of famed figures like the members of the royal family. Noting that, behind the curtains of their public images, not everything seems so laudable. Holding dear this intuition, James plunged into his imagination, transfixing his discovery in a set of paintings.

ALEVANDER JAMES PH. SONNY HALL
ALEXANDER JAMES, PH. SONNY HALL

James’ creations range from sculpture to video and installation: the exhibition also features recorded footage, capable to project the audience in the artist’s mind via a series of displays broadcasting daily rituals, memories and fantasies. The video content is able to complement the paintings and set the frame, creating a threshold between the space of the gallery and the space of James’ mind. Some recurring objects surface from time to time in the exhibition between forms and colors like the spoils of a cognitive wreckage. James’ canvas and videos seems to testify an existential drift: both things and concepts are left for a long time soaking in a stream of consciousness to come ashore in our reality as art. Dahl’s blue crocodile emerges in a haze of nudes and forms while a ladder, always suspended without any support, returns as a symbol of aspiration without fulfillment, a bridge cast to unite two nothings.

Alexander James is a British born multimedia artist. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Camberwell College of Arts in London where he studied illustration from 2012 to 2015. His practice spans diverse media, including painting, sculpture, video and installation. The paintings and characters are from films observed in his early days as a child finding himself connected to these references revealing an element of his past life into the characters. With constant progress in technology and digitalisation he believes new movements and subcultures can made from his influences. Earlier this year, the artist celebrated the opening of One More Slope, a group show curated by Alexander James in collaboration with the British Fashion Council New Wave: Creatives,wheretalent across disciplines showcased their work as nominated by The Fashion Awards 2019 international voting panel. He exposed in London, Paris, Berlin and New York with exhibitions like Look What The Cat Dragged In, Roman Road, London (2020); I Loved Your Gestures, Galerie Joseph, Paris (2019); Sharper Than Razor Blades, Softer Than Leather, The Face Apartment, New York (2019); and A Kid Who Walked The Plank, Working Projects, London (2018).


Alexander James’ work will be hosted in The Bakery, Sunday 11th October – Saturday 7th November, 2020.

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