To Infinity and Beyond: British American Contemporary Artist Anthony James
September 18, 2020
British Artist Anthony James takes us to the future and beyond using ancient metalworking techniques on his latest 2020 installation, ‘Repose.’
Anthony James may be best known for his monumental installations which are rooted in signature themes of Greek mythology, life, death, and rebirth through contemporary sculpture. Most of James' work looks straight out of a sci-fi film and plays on perceptual mechanics of vision, taking its viewer seemingly into another dimension and space.
A master sculptor, James studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art in London where he graduated with a degree in fine art painting. A 2010 Interview Magazine revealed that James felt like he “graduated in the wrong subject.” By his 3rd year at St. Martin, he was already immersed in sculpture. Shortly after graduating, James moved to New York.
His extraordinary “Birch Series” installation made international headlines when it debuted in New York, circa 2005 . The series is comprised of various sized, vertical illuminated, light glass boxes with young birch tree trunks encapsulated inside. It's mirror side reflections give the effect of an endless forest.
Photos courtesy of Anthony James Studio
Soon after followed James' 2008 Kalos Thanatos (KΘ) display, Greek for “beautiful death”, where he burned his Ferrari F335 Spyder in a birch forest. The artist then displayed it in a lighted mirrored glass case, an effect that is both powerful and pleasing to the eye. The installation was inspired by the ancient Greeks, who sacrificed to goddess Aphrodite in birch forests.
James' work has toured major art festivals and fine art shows across the globe. The Big Magazine caught a showing of James “Portals” series at the LA Art Show 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic had halted mass gatherings and events.
Photos of Anthony James 'Portals' series at the LA Art Show 2020 at the Los Angeles Convention Center by Newcountry for The Big Magazine
The LED illuminated “Portals” series consists of large titanium Icosahedrons (a geometric globe with 20 triangular faces, 30 edges and 12 vertices) using LED light to invoke a psychedelic optical illusion. Icosahedrons were initially conceptualized by Plato to exhibit an ideal compositional system of perfect symmetry in three dimensions.
James' latest 2020 series, “Repose” is named after the “chasing” and “repoussé, ” an ancient metalworking technique, often used in conjunction with one another to transform natural elements into what are, by virtue of the human component, manufactured shapes.
Photos of ‘Repose’ 2020 courtesy of Anthony James Studio