Todd James “There’s No Place Like Home”
September 8, 2019 / October 27, 2019 – LOS ANGELES
Over the Influence is pleased to announce the upcoming show THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, an exhibition of new work by artist Todd James, opening on September 7, 2019.
Featuring mostly large-scale acrylic paintings, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME elaborates on the artist’s recent theme of surreal interiors rendered in a lush, saturated palette. These are deeply personal spaces, populated with slightly abstracted objects, which form engaging compositions that draw the viewer into the artist’s world.
These rooms call to mind intense adolescent years, and give a nod to all the oddballs, outcasts, junior criminals, nerds, punks, and otherwise socially incapable individuals whose bedrooms become shrines to the cultural artifacts that make teenage life worth living.
Pubescent touchstones abound in dense compositional fields: Fantasy art, pornography, Dungeons & Dragons manuals, comics, and magazine covers all harken back to a time when all we seemed able to control was what we thumbtacked and taped to our walls.
The paintings transport viewers to idealized black-lit basement bedrooms, pulsing with humanity fully expressed. They also share a strong visual kinship with James’s celebrated Vandal’s Bedroom installation, which was a selection of the 2015 Venice Biennale and continues to be exhibited worldwide. Finally, this body of work represents the ultimate “safe space,” a “room of one’s own” we all possess within our consciousnesses that may provide respite from the troubling realities of the larger world. With these works, James offers viewers symbolic protection from the instability of the current geo-political landscape.
Rounding out these psychologically intense interiors are some of James’s iconic portraits of women, caught in candid moments, vibrating with a typically free and careless femininity. James’s women don’t bother with artifice; they are perfect in their natural state, whatever that state may be.
Todd James began his art career in the New York City subway system of the early 1980s, and through his adolescent graffiti work mastered the practical challenges of good design at an early age. James is a co-creator of Street Market, a major work of the post-graffiti movement that was selected for the 2001 Venice Biennale. In 2011, a re-creation of this work was the central installation of LA MOCA’s record breaking exhibition, Art in the Streets. His paintings and installations have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. In the commercial art world James has collaborated with artists including Iggy Pop, The Beastie Boys, U2, Eminem, and Pharrell Williams. Todd James lives and works in Manhattan, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME is his first exhibition at Over the Influence.