James Bullough’s painting boasts a curious paradox: on some occasions, his figures shed all their weight and the human condition, and ascend to the skies sublimely. In others, like pure fallen angels, they do the reverse route at full speed. His work emanates an explosive energy that propels the being one beyond their limits, in a time warp effect that spreads itself in space and promulgates a new dimension. The fragmented movement is a consequence of the being’s shattering, in the attempt to overcome and break the limits of the body. The physical expression is projected in space, dilating and amplifying the feelings.

Bullough cannot just keep things in one piece. Instead, he breaks everything. His quest for a dismembering effort, and for a regenerative ability, is part of his creative process. He disassembles the being to simply reconfigure them, under a revitalized concept that reflects his ideas and aesthetic concerns. A geometric, methodical and organized entropy.

His compositions are based on canons of stylized refractions, which imprint new rhythms and instill a reverberation that resonates beyond the canvas itself. Colour is barely used; his pallet is based on neutral and slightly saturated tones. Refraction, the ability to deflect light and form parallel images - a prodigious mechanism capable of segmenting, reflecting and spreading the being’s new image. The shape is then dissected and multiplied, giving birth to new sub-forms that manipulate our perception and edify a new physical form and unity.

These images’ inflated sensuality and eroticism remind us of the fragmentation that lives in some hermaphrodite invertebrates. Some kind of asexual reproduction, in which an individual is broken into a thousand pieces, each with the ability to re-grow itself to assemble a complete organism.

By Pedro Boaventura • Excerpt from Masters of Contemporary Fine Art - Volume 3

James Bullough is an American born artist living and working in Berlin, Germany. His studio paintings, and huge monumentally scaled site-specific murals combine delicately handled realistic portraiture with harsh graphic distortion and abstraction. Inspired by the gritty urban graffiti he saw as a young artist growing up in Washington, DC, Bullough harnessed it’s energy and edge while teaching himself more traditional realistic oil painting techniques by studying the Old Masters. Combining the momentum of the one and the technical precision of the other, his work is about staging compelling contrasts and juxtapositions. Whether working with spray paint on massive facades or oils in his studio, Bullough’s work strikes a delicate balance between realistic portraiture and stylized distortions, straddling the space between traditional and contemporary. 
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