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James R. Eads, 1989 | The New-Age Van Gogh

James R. Eads was born in Los Angeles, he went to college at Skidmore in upstate New York and then lived in Brooklyn for a few years before relocating to Los Angeles. He lives and works at the Brewery Arts in Los Angeles. His studio is open to the public during the bi-annual artwalks.
Despite his modern method, it’s easy to see traces of past painters and movements in his pieces. Van Gogh is an obvious inspiration, though there are nuances of numerous other impressionist artists’ styles in each and every piece.

The swirls, colours, and short brush strokes in James R. Eads’ illustrations might seem familiar. Ghostly spirals in a rainbow palette imitate the textured work of Van Gogh, an artist who Eads is greatly inspired by. But where Van Gogh crafts surreal landscapes and still-life scenes with his brushstrokes, Eads’ figures and fairytale backdrops offer a connection between human life and the natural world.
In one piece we see the silhouettes of two bodies clinging together in a plume of bright colours. Behind them, the impenetrable black night is both suffocating and vibrant, lit up only with small sparks that resemble stars.
In another piece, a row boat languishes out on calm waters painted in peaceful blue and green hues. In the background, the moon sits above a swirling, uniformed mass which could either be crashing waves lurking on the horizon or the swell of low-slung clouds.
Whilst Eads scenes are familiar to the viewers’ eye, they are also alien, picking out aspects that juxtapose the otherwise meditative surroundings. For example, in one piece we are presented with a forest that has been cast in shadows in the dark, but through the handful of trees we catch a glimpse of a burning pink sky filled with heated yellow swirls.

The surreal effect of the thick brushstrokes and abundance of colour immediately makes Eads pieces seem like old impressionist paintings, but in fact each scene has been carefully crafted using Photoshop. 
I stick to Photoshop, I prefer the natural aspects and the fluidity of the tools it offers and I think it is the most closely related I can get to traditional drawing and painting on the computer”, Eads says.
However, the process begins much the same as any other artist (including, most likely, Van Gogh) with a sketch. 
Eads is eager to point out how much work goes into one piece. 
For me, it goes through hours and hours of changes and rarely ever looks like the first sketch” - he says, though there’s always a remnant of the original idea visible somewhere in the piece, just like the sparks of colour that pepper his work.

James R. Eads è nato a Los Angeles nel 1989, ha studiato a New York ed è poi tornato a Los Angeles a vivere e lavorare: oggi lavora alla Brewery Art Colony, un’area di sedici acri divenuta nel 1903 un punto di riferimento per artisti provenienti da tutto il mondo in cui, oltre a studi di pittura, di scultura, di fotografia, di disegno industriale e di architettura, si trovano ristoranti e gallerie d’arte.
Tocchi sottili ed eleganza delle forme caratterizzano lo stile di questo artista poliedrico che nutre una profonda passione per l’arte e il design e non esita a far riferimento a Van Gogh quando parla del suo modo di utilizzare i colori.
Eads si descrive come un artista multidisciplinare, appassionato sia di arte che di design e nelle sue illustrazioni descrive il rapporto tra uomo e natura, con immagini che mirano a trasmettere movimento e dinamicità.
Con uno stile dal tratteggio grezzo riesce a creare delle illustrazioni molto originali e di forte impatto emotivo volte a trasmettere movimento e dinamismo, mettendo in risalto il vincolo indissolubile tra noi e il mondo naturale.
Il suo stile organico, che trae ispirazione dalle forme della natura, rimanda all’opera di Vincent Van Gogh. Illustrazioni emozionanti, che ritraggono sovente cieli vorticosi e spazi selvatici, vengono penetrati profondamente dall’artista, manifestando così il suo amore incondizionato nei confronti di una terra che percepisce come madre e amica.