© 2019 NOCA Arts

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James Banks

I make art because I can. Perhaps because I must. My wife, Jeannie Motherwell (also a NoCa artist), once told me, "You aren't an artist because you make art; you make art because you are an artist." I didn't grow up with or around art, and when I discovered it in college, I couldn't believe people actually spent their lives doing this. I ended up with a BA in art from Bard College in New York.

Later, for a variety of reasons, I pursued other career avenues, thinking I could go anywhere, be anything, do anything. I was wrong and came back to art like a refugee.

My work has been diverse, investigating different conceptual strategies and experimenting with many different materials in an effort to discover what it is I can do and of the nature of art as it relates to me. Over the last several years, I have been working in four areas: 1) fairly realistic paintings of people taken from society pages, news images, or random photos; 2) collage-like or painterly recombination of news or photo images in my computer to create imaginative narrative scenes; 3) landscapes with dreamy or hallucinogenic elements; and 4) pure abstraction that I might consider close-ups of those dreamy landscapes.

The current show focuses on the last two. The landscapes are inspired by drawings and paintings I did of the Texas Hill Country years ago. The abstract work relates to what you might see in a drop of water under a microscope or beneath the kelp off the California coast.
Artists that really turn me on are Od Nerdrum, Gregory Gillespie, and Jim Peters. 

Contact info: jimmo@aol.com

Website: www.jimbanksartist.com