05 Mar 2020 | Journal
American social justice campaigner Cesar Cruz once said that art “should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”
It’s certainly an apt description for the forthcoming London exhibition, ‘Asylum,’ which will feature the abstract paintings of Nailsworth artist James Green.
Green, who works from a studio in Rodborough, will be returning to The Crypt Gallery beneath St Pancras New Church to join some of the contemporary art world’s leading figures for this three-day event.
Taking place between 25th to 28th July, the line-up includes the famous Bristol-born street artist Banksy.
It’s a feather in the cap of the former Tetbury’s Sir William Romney’s School pupil who went on to study Fine Art at Cardiff School of Art.
Yet it hasn’t always been plain sailing for the 29-year-old. Just three years ago, he found himself at breaking point while working as a successful salesman in Sydney, Australia. It was then he realised that he wanted to devote himself full-time to his paintbrushes.
Luckily for Green, it’s a gamble that has started to pay off and now, only three years on, his work is starting to receive the recognition he deserves.
At the Talented Art Fair in London earlier this year he was one of the top selling artists and, having been part of the original line up at the first ‘Asylum’ exhibition in 2018, he has been asked to return.
“Hundreds of people came to visit last year so we are looking forward to lots of visitors again in July,” Green begins.
“The Crypt is a quirky venue in the bowels of the church and its underground tunnels add to the theme of ‘asylum’.”
“Aristotle said that ‘No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness,’ and that’s definitely at the core of the exhibition’s theme,” he continues.
The same could perhaps be said of Green’s latest artwork, ‘Two Slices of Bacon,’ which depicts the late artist Francis Bacon in both realism and in abstract – A collaboration between realist painter Mason Storm.
“Art for me is about putting my personality down on paper and I can do that with spontaneous, abstract paintings that I could never hope to reproduce. They are genuinely one-off, unique pieces,” he says.
“Thanks to perservering with expressing my own style, my work is starting to take off with collectors.”
“I might not produce what people expect from an artist based in the countryside with deer running outside the window,” he says of his modern style.
“You think I would specialise in landscapes, but I want to make a statement with my art and do something different,” he explains.
“And that is massively important to me.”