Thinkspace is pleased to present new works by American, Berlin-based, artist James Bullough in “Parallel Truths”, opening February 29. A technically accomplished painter who creates with a staggering degree of detail, Bullough begins with figurative imagery, disjointing and levitating its fragmented parts impressionistically to build dynamic surfaces that read with startling affective resonance.
His paintings, and huge monumentally scaled site-specific murals, are phenomenal combinations of realist painting technique and graphic punctuation. Inspired by urban graffiti as a young artist growing up in Washington, DC, Bullough harnessed its energy in his work, and perfected a realistic oil painting technique from his study of the Old Masters. Combining the momentum of the one and the technical precision of the other, his work is about staging compelling contrasts and juxtapositions.
Working with dancers from Berlin and elsewhere, Bullough begins with the body in motion, arrested in an expense of negative space, then dissembles it further, splicing, striating, and fragmenting its surfaces and planes. Always working from his own photo reference, his models remain anonymous and faceless throughout, an omission intended to reaffirm the symbolic universality of the emotive physical gesture.
The artist’s new works are increasingly dynamic as the bodies’ interrupted segments have been shifted and activated, rather than deleted. Areas of the figure are superimposed, vibrating with transitional movement rather than apprehended in static still. In other works, the pieces seem to be deteriorating before the viewer’s eyes, with the paint appearing to be flacking off the panel in true tromp l’oeil fashion. Working in everything from oil, spray paint and ink on canvas, Bullough’s paintings strike a balance between realistic figurations and stylized interruption. Disjointing the realistic elements with graphic areas and fractured or striated planes, Bullough intends to challenge the viewer’s perception.
“Looking at the art of James Bullough is like looking at reality through the shards of a shattered mirror. The American born, Berlin based artist’s paintings and murals have become instantly recognizable for his mixture of realism and abstraction.” – HiFructose