One of the most awful websites I have visited in recent history is the one by artist Herman James. Even for a site that’s under construction it is poor. but that does not mean that a visit is not worthwhile. Herman James’ art itself is stunningly beautiful and impressive.
His works represent just about everything that I love in paintings. The subjects seem to be full of meaning, without forcing a meaning on to you. If you do not wish to think about what you see, that’s a fine. Just enjoy the composition, the colors and the flowing brushstrokes. The sharp and detailed objects that become smooth and flowing when you’re up close. Looking at an enlarged image on my computer screen I swear I can smell paint. I hear it dripping from a brush onto a floor.
But when you do wish to think about a ‘message’… Especially his ‘loaded landscapes’ series make a really deep impression without getting aggressive about climate change. Where ‘artworks’ like Roland Emmerich’s blockbuster ‘we-are-all-going-to-die’ doomsday-flicks aim to bring fear to your bones and are presumably hoping to scare us into changing our behavior (scientific evidence has shown that this does not work), Jeams’ work is much more relaxed. There is room for a sense of (dark) humour in his works, which gets his message across in a much more effective way. Apparently, James is holding the landscape responsible for climate change (much like Dutch artist Armando used to talk about ‘guilty landscapes’) which is a great way out for the ones among us that feel guilty ourselves. James himself tips Matthew Roses’ interview for artblog for information on ‘Loaded landscapes’.
I strongly advice you to go and see some of Hermans James’ work. Let’s not hold his website against him…
(you could always go see his work on another site like the one of NY base Dutch Kills Gallery. Do yourself a favor, check out Kendrick Mar as well)