James Thomas

James Thomas

Bio

James is a 25-year old artist from Johannesburg, South Africa. As a skateboarder since the age of 11, Thomas has spent intimate time on the streets of the inner-city. This has given him a unique and nuanced view of the visual, socio-political and ambient landscape of the metropolis.

An interest in documenting his experiences in the city developed into an obsession as he began to work in various downtown clubs and bars. What started as writing, became drawing and eventually gave way to large-scale paintings. Through these experiences James creates art with a journalistic approach.

He captures, anecdotally and personally, what it means to live in the city of gold in the 21st century.

Thomas explores themes of violence, inequality and displacement. The tone of the works dances between seriousness and satire. Drawing from the nature of Johannesburg, harsh dualities are present in every painting. Elements of abstraction and realism are juxtaposed. The compositions are at odds with one another and in a state of harmony simultaneously. Thomas interrogates the history and current nature of his place in time.

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