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Colours of the brain (Original)


During the anti-racism movement of 2020, I felt moved to do more than just post a solitary black square on whatever social media outlet and then claim to have done something meaningful. My opinion of race has always been guided by MLK’s colour-blind mindset, where skin colour is of no relevance and content of character is what reigns supreme.

In the creative process, I found a quote by Nigerian poet, Michael Bassey Johnson, who said ‘I don’t fancy colours of the face, I’m always attracted to colours of the brain.’ It was this passage that connected to me and influenced the piece.

This is the original piece for this series. The backdrop of the face and hair is hand painted with acrylic paint whilst the hearts and cheek are with an acrylic pen. The half-tone detail is screen printed - the combination of these techniques delivers a beautiful tension between the accuracy of screenprinting and the looseness of hand-applied outputs. This piece is framed.


Art specifications

  • Frame - 750 x 850 mm
  • Art - 585 x 700 mm
  • Created on Somerset Satin 310gsm
  • Original: One-of-a-kind
  • Signed on front and reverse
  • Date and stamped on reverse


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About the concept

This concept began with a single lucid dream and a quest to recreate it. In the search for answers, James pondered the existence of the ethereal figures that inhabit dreamscapes. Are they people we know and love? Or individuals who have briefly passed us in an encounter, subconsciously absorbed into our minds without reflection. Do they exist at all, or are they mere figments of our imagination, spliced together from multiple sublinimal touch points?

His creative journey took a riveting turn when he introduced Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the equation, infusing life into these elusive dream characters. AI blurs the boundaries between reality and imagination, much like a lucid dream. It merges the machine’s perception and hallucinations, splicing together what it perciecves to be real, resulting in a vibrant tapestry of “Electric Dreams” that dissolves the lines between art and technology, melding reality with fantasy.

In an era where art and technology intertwine, “Electric Dreams” reflects an exploration of the boundaries of creativity and the evolving relationship between humans and machines and dreams and reality. 

Techniques used

In the case of Electric Dreams, AI has been employed to create a photorealistic model, replacing the use of stock imagery or photoshoots - that is where the input of AI starts and stops. James then takes this image and edits it to create his personal style of work, which involves a combination of digital editing and analogue techniques, including lo-fi printing, tearing, distressing, hand-warping via scanners, and collaging until he achieves the desired composition.

Once satisfied with the works created, James then proceeds to bring the art to life in its physical form, utilising a combination of screen printing, stencils, spray painting, traditional painting, and painstakingly hand-applied halftones with thickened acrylic. This process results in an almost 3D piece of work - tactile and distressed, precise yet spontaneous, digital and yet physical. These techniques echo the play between machine and human creativity, pulling the artwork from its digital origins into the real world.

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What they say

‘James has quickly established himself as one of the UK’s sought-after print artists. His limited edition prints have been very popular and his technique of using half-tone really brings his works to life.’

J. FrancoisElectric Gallery

‘James has a fun, honest and energetic approach in his work whilst taking care to maintain a technical style of painting. This juxtaposition of attitude and technique lead to intriguing works that we love talking about in the gallery’

B. HepworthEdit Gallery

'his innovative take on contemporary art and approach consistently excites and engages the vibrant Art Republic community'

M. SpendiffArt Republic

'James' artworks have been an instant hit here at Totally Biblical Gallery, his work takes an exciting look at popular culture which our customers really identify with.'

S. CurranTotally Biblical

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