Born and living in London, James studied Three Dimensional Design at Kingston Polytechnic and gained some experience in Design for Film & Television, before painting full time. He is the grandson of the highly regarded painter and teacher Hugh Mackinnon.
The paintings take the built environment and interiors as their inspiration. The initial focus has been London and the East End, although trips to New York, Northern Italy and Morocco have created a more universal approach. The images are realistic yet slightly dream like in their stillness and atmosphere. This quality seems to evolve instinctively during the painting process.
His influences range from painters such as Edward Hopper, James Pryde and Thomas Jones to an eclectic mix of British artists, notably Algernon Newton, Jock Mcfadyen and Donna Mclean.
His first solo exhibition was in 1994, where he displayed London Fields East – The Ghetto, a large photographic model of an East End squatted neighbourhood. He worked in collaboration with the photographer Tom Hunter (John Kobal Portrait Award Winner). The model was subsequently purchased by the Museum of London and is now on display in their 20th Century Collection. Other three dimensional works have been acquired by public collections, including Cafe Box (the Museum in the Docklands) and a ten foot high replica of an East End tower block (The Hackney Building Exploratory).
James currently exhibits with the COSA Gallery and the Millinery Works Gallery. Following the acclaimed reception of his work at Art 2007 at Islington’s Business Design Centre he has agreed to again show with the COSA Gallery at the Art London fair in Chelsea later in the year and at Art 2008 (Jan 16 – 20) at the BDC. He will also participate in the Millinery Works Annual show in January 2008. This commitment means that James planned major solo show will need to be re-scheduled for 2010. (bio)