last updated: 06/30/22
JAMES WARREN
b. 1999 Toronto, On. (Canada)
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. (US)

EDUCATION
2022 – BFA in Painting, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI. (US)

EXHIBTIONS
2022
New Contemporaries, Gelman Gallery RISD Museum, Providence, RI. (group)
Mega Storage, Memorial Hall Gallery, Providence, RI. (group)
Of Soiled Bodies, Gelman Gallery RISD Museum, Providence, RI. (group)

2021
Salon #1, New Collectors, New York, NY. (group)


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STATEMENT

Responding to both traditions of western landscape painting and recent environmentalist studies, my artistic practice investigates how our landscape, built and altered by our society, harbors meaning about us, collectively and individually.

I am drawn to subjects which examine ideas of ‘wilderness’ as they exist in our modern understanding of nature. Human interventions within the landscape, such as artificial-tree cellphone towers, speak to our aesthetic desire to hide the human and preserve the ‘natural’ in our construction of the landscape. While generally conceived as the last place untouched by human activity, I am instead interested in depicting wilderness for what it is: the creation of particular human cultures at particular moments in human history.

My most recent body of work depicts nuanced ways in which humans have left traces of their cultural influence on the landscape in a series of paintings on panel using a combination of oil paint and airbrushed acrylic. The sources for my imagery combine personal photography and digital 3D models with photos from online public media archives. This reference imagery undergoes varying degrees of digital manipulation before being translated into paint. Evidence of digital artifacts, such as the gray and white transparency grid, find their way into the seemingly naturalistic scenes. Additionally, the contrast in texture and mark-making that is made with an airbrush compared to more traditional tools allows me to render how subjects either stand out or blend into their surroundings. While starting from a place of representation, I always abstract, invent, stretch, blur, and construct new spaces through my work. In this way, my process of painting, and the act of looking that it requires from my audience, is representative of the kind of wilderness that we have built.







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