Sunday, January 11, 2009

James Jean's "Kindling" in NYC

He makes you question why you would even bother picking up a pencil when he can kick graphite's ass. James Jean, whose website I've referenced before, is an amazing artist and painter, and doesn't take a shabby photograph, either. His beautifully fluid lines, mastery of tones and moods, and visual compositions make other people with hands cry in shame.

And finally, he brought his beautiful, jealousy-inducing work to New York City! In the short time that I've been following him, he (as well as other bad-ass artists like Audrey Kawasaki and Tara McPherson) has stuck to the West Coast. However, last night was the gallery opening for his show "Kindling" at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea, here in NYC.

Adette and I, devoted followers, towed our friend Dan to the event. We decided to arrive late, at 830 (ended at 9), in the vain hopes of spotting Mr. Jean (whom we have no visual reference for). There was a slew of people there (of course), and it was difficult to maneuver around all the works. We saw a variety of paintings on paper (and some on canvas), as well as a slew of preparatory drawings. I've got mad love for sketches, particularly ghost images, as they have a hugely different, and I think more human, feel than finished pieces (take DaVinci's work, for example). However, his lines and strokes translated pretty damn well across media, and I was left pretty amazed, awed, and dumbfounded.

We didn't manage to see him, but I JUST found out there was an afterparty, to which he gave explicit directions on how to get there in his blog. Talk about dashed dreams!

At the end of this post you'll find some more pictures, though the full set will be on the flickr page (including some that will be stolen from Adette). Check them out, but more importantly, check out "Kindling" if you're in the area!

"Kindling" by James Jean
Jan. 10-Feb. 7
The Jonathan LeVine Gallery, 529 W 20th St (btwn. 10th and 11th)
Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm


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