Day in Black and White and all the tones in between. Growing up and
in college I remember seeing my first M.C. Escher poster. The type
you stared at, looked at sideways, then upside down all the while thinking
wow. Bought a couple of his posters, hung them in my dorm
room and did the usual college stuff. Years later I run into James
Langston's work and think Escher all over again. This time though
I think how. I often wonder how each artist sees this world
we live in and interprets it through words on paper or with colors on canvas
or forms in sculptures. I think 90% of art is the initial concept
and ideas, the truly gifted find ways to share it with the rest of us.
I think James Langston is a great example of this, his works mainly in
simple monotone, but the subject matter a rainbow of complex thoughts.
When I look at James Langston's art, I don't notice the lack of color but
become lost in a great ocean of ideas, and once again I'm left to utter
the word wow!!!
is such an exciting adventure. A few months ago, I was trying to mentally
prepare for retirement and WHAM! An invitation came to show my art
in Florence, Italy at the Biennale
Internazionale Dell'Arte Contemporanea exhibition. I had
never heard of the event so I had some friends in Italy look into the event
and on their advice, I entered. What a great show, 520 artists from
32 different countries were there. To make matters better, one of
my works was shown in Millionaire magazine to help promote the event.
All is well with the universe so I am just happy to be with such a talented
and experienced group of artist and I find out I won a forth degree gold
medal in the works on paper category. This came as a total surprise
to me considering the quality of work at this event. To continue
with the adventure, after the show ended in Italy, all the Americans from
the show were invited to bring our works to New York. The show at
the Angel Orensanz Foundation will last until January the 11th and who
knows what will happen next. For someone who creates art that is
far from the norm, this truly makes up for all the time and energy of thirty
years of working on these pictures. I would be pleased if you
would take the time to look at my work. The web address jamesjangston.com
monochromatic landscapes are designs that attempt to capture the harmonious
balance of shape and pattern into an aesthetic illusion that challenges
viewers to explore the labyrinth of psychological space. The images and
forms are at once arrestingly aggressive and serenely seductive. The emotional
energy is trapped within the geometric and organic shapes on the two-dimensional
surface; however, the individual forms and designs serve as linear progressions
to the whole. Each shape, every plane captures the fragments of light,
the internal energy within the artist and the medium of pen and ink serves
to contrast that emotional, intellectual, and visceral energy. The medium
is basic as the surface is spatially limiting but beyond is the invitation
to explore for within each viewed lies the potential of each drawing. The
individual viewer may take possession which, in turn, results in profoundly
personal responses to the landscapes or the viewer can permit the shapes,
images and impressions to bombard the sensory perceptions for a subliminal
union with the artist.
the medium is basic and consistent, each drawing transcends the very medium
with a thematic energy which distinguishes it from the portfolio. The individual
titles are revealing but they offer nothing definitive. Captured within
the geometry the titles provide a reference point but like the images themselves,
the titles are grammatically in movement. The effect is to control the
sensory chaos, provide a psychological reference, and to alert the viewer
to the artist's impulses. Of course, the viewer can inadvertently ignore
or purposely reject these thematic signals, allowing for desultory impressions.
Either response provides the means to control the spatial and psychological
energy and to temper the chaos for a recognition of each work's inherent
purpose and intent.
Like modern Op-Art and contemporary
Art Nouveau, I work with illusions that are designed, spontaneous and eclectic.
The geometric shapes or the organic images demand dialogue and interaction;
not passivity. To comprehend the complexity of the real, the viewer must
recognize himself in flux, for the drawings capture the real but frame
them in the absurd. That is, the designs are safely familiar, every image
recognizable; yet the geometric environments are disturbing. From harmony
comes disharmony; from the familiar comes the chaotic; from the safe comes
the challenge. And
what is perceived externally must be challenged internally. And therein
lies my purpose and my goal.
The contemporary artist's responsibility
is to incorporate the individual on some level-the primordial, the conscious
or the subconscious- into the work. The artist must probe, prod, provoke;
he must step beyond solving sixteenth century problems about the nature
of man, god and art. He must be sensitive to time, energy, matter, space
while never losing the individual. Together the artist and viewer must
provide shape or a new environment, a forged understanding of the future...
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