Sunday, March 24, 2013

James Prez: Studio Visit

James Prez was born in Erie, PA in the 1950's.  As an adult he took a visual arts class in Rochester, NY that solidified his interest in art making.  Now he lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  He's been there since the mid-nineties before the area was cool; he was one of those trail blazers that paved the way for young folks who made Williamsburg what it is today.  However, he preferred his neighborhood before all of the large apartment buildings were built, when it was just an outpost on the edge of Brooklyn ripe for artists and musicians to nurture their creativity.  He still lives in the same old apartment since way back then (on North 7th and Bedford).

I'll let his art do most of the talking... But first, here are a few observations:  his art is the epitome of freedom and play; there are no restraints, anything goes, anything and everything can be and is art.  He uses modest sized and free of charge materials like found objects from the curbside and scraps of garbage.  His work is imbued with humor, can be political, and is mostly abstract.  

James is very kind and free of ego.  My only regret I have after visiting his studio is that I wasn't able to stay longer and dig through the piles of art he has scattered about.  I should also add that the coolest thing about his apartment/studio is that you cannot tell what is and isn't art, and which art is his and which is a friends.

Horse by Suzanne Goldenberg

Above painting by Suzanne Goldenberg

James also had several pieces by other artists.  Here are a few that caught my attention...

Julie Torres, Brooklyn, NY

Julie Torres, Brooklyn, NY

Mickey Mantle is by Tommy
somewhere in The Bronx, NY

Amy Young, Brooklyn, NY
(See Me, Tell Me)

Django Reinhardt is by Lamar Sorrento
(Memphis, Tennesee)

Charlie Patton is by Jack
(James Popovitch, Denver, Colorado)

Mose Tolliver/deceased
(Montgomery, Alabama)

George Washington by an unidentified artist
(Salvation Army find)

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