You know when you discover something that catches your eye, and then you begin to start seeing it everywhere? Such it has been for me lately with the artwork of James Nares. I first saw his work several years ago, in the stairwell of an extremely posh office building in New York City. I remember the ribbon-like, blue painting seemed almost 3 dimensional and I probably could have stared at it for hours trying to figure out just HOW it was created. But of course the piece was then forgotten, until recently, when I saw this image of another work by Nares in this (may I add- EXTREMELY AMAZINGLY DESIGNED) Dining Room. Then I saw ANOTHER piece and so -of course- it is now time to share with you my love for this artist and his work!
Nares was born in London in 1954, but moved to New York City in 1975. He was quoted as saying the motivation behind his move was the fact that “All I did was read American art magazines. I felt like a real loner in London, being interested in all these artists that nobody else seemed to have heard of.” And from the moment he moved here, he began immersing himself in these artist circles, gaining respect from many of the painters he once admired. But it took some time before his work truly started to gain broader popularity. Now it is found throughout the world in private collections and major museums such as the MoMA and Whitney Museum.
While Nares’ paintings are most certainly unique, he especially stands apart in his methodology. His work is most often created in a SINGLE brushstroke with unique brushes of his own design. The brushes are created with a variety of everything from foam to feathers, and there is quite an experimental process to finding exactly the right one. He applies the paint while suspended over the canvas in an acrobatic harness that he created to achieve a gravity free painting environment.
The painting process is one of erasing and recreating line-work before finding the perfect balance between improvisation and intent. Nares likens this artistic routine to hitting a home run in baseball, sometimes achievable in one go but more often requiring multiple attempts to accomplish.
Nares’ unique process results in these fantastic ribbons of color. They have been likened to visuals such as swirling storm clouds, birds in flight and ocean waves. What do you see? Are you as mesmerized as I am?
Also link 3 is very cool interview with James Nares about his early years in New York, and his process of creating and experimenting with the brushes he uses today.
I also read that recently Nares has further expanded his art into the realm of photography and film, with a film currently streaming at the Met.