For most artists this would be the accomplishment. This kind of flawless rendering would be where the angst and toil resides. James displays a level of skill that most artists spend a lifetime pursuing. However, after speaking with him for awhile I’m convinced that the execution of the piece is really secondary. For James, the purity of the concept really trumps all. He never uses his own photographs as a base for his paintings, and yet each series looks as if he hired and staged the models himself. He creatively crops and manipulates piles of reference until his composition and concept feels cohesive. This gives his work a ‘found object’ quality which only enhances the experience of viewing his work. For him, I believe, this is where the real angst lies. This is the work – pouring over and accumulating reference until he finds just the right pieces with which to make his fabulous paintings.
A true pleasure to meet such a gifted and humble artist who was willing to open his studio and share his process. Overall, an inspiring visit that will stay with me for some time. Cheers, James Rieck.
See more James Rieck here.