The portraits by February James strive to capture the essence of a person rather than their physicality. Her aim to portray their emotional core, how they may appear in a memory or a dream. Her work is rooted in the human condition, and more specifically pathologies and how they become the foundation of a being. The portraits can be seen as being a bit ambiguous, this is because she’s always curious about how we play with duality in our lives.
James’ paints about love, pain, and tenderness. She uses bold color and forms as linguistic tools to represent the intangible. She distorts, smudges, and hollows out their features in order to erase this notion of perfection that we strive for as humans and in our art. These faces are broken down to their psychic roots, exposed for all to see. Ultimately, because of this, her work responds to a desire for human connection by facilitating these investigations into the interior.
James is an auto didactic artist from Washington DC, living and working in Los Angeles. She works primarily in oil pastels with a penchant for watercolor and graphite powder. She often emploies bold colors and emotive tableau with empirical evidence.
Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibits, television broadcasts and print publications. The work has also made it’s way to institutions and private collections across the U.S. and abroad.