James Jean’s fantastical acrylic paintings and digital works are absorbing, even if viewers aren’t offered a specific storyline for each work. In his latest works, the artist packs even more abstraction, hues, and icons into these tales. Often, his paintings offer surreal interplay between humans and the animal world. Jean was last featured on HiFructose.com here.
Hi-Fructose Vol. 15 cover artist James Jean will debut new works in a solo show at Tokyo’s Hidari Zingaro gallery on November 7th. His latest body of work consists of mixed media drawings on paper and a large painting on copper plates. The show title, “ZUGZWANG”, derives from a term used by chess specialists to describe a situation in which a player is forced to make a move to his disadvantage. It’s also a term that Jean has used to describe his creative process, where the more he draws, the more he feels compelled to continue working.
For the majority of his illustration career, Canadian artist Randy Ortiz (first covered here) has drawn images in a graphic style with a surrealistic quality. His love for screen printing and movie posters is apparent in his limited, yet colorful palette, and portrayal of creatures who seem to transform with their surroundings. Among his latest inspirations are artists James Jean or Joao Ruas, who also merge surreal forms of nature with reality in their art. Recently, Ortiz’s personal work has leaned in this more emotive direction.
On Saturday night, Heart N Soul Gallery in Culver City joined forces with some all-star New Contemporary artists to raise funds for the Aurelia Foundation. The foundation was created to provide funding and support for programs like “Step by Step”, enriching the lives of disabled adults. The charity is very close to home for the gallerist, whose daughter is one of the many young adults that receive assistance from these programs. Among the artists who have contributed both original, new and previous works to the cause include AJ Fosick, Ana Bagayan, Bob Doucette, Clayton Bros, James Jean, Lola, Marion Peck, Mark Ryden, Martin Witfooth, Naoto Hattori, Nate Frizzell, Shepard Fairey, Steven Daily, and more.