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James Jean: A Brain-Bending, Instagram-Slaying Artist for Our Time: Aides Lapin. Digital, 6,000 x 9,359 pixels, 2016.

Aides Lapin. Digital, 6,000 x 9,359 pixels, 2016.

Artist in Residence

James Jean: A Brain-Bending, Instagram-Slaying Artist for Our Time

Artist in Residence Artist in Residence
**Portrait of James Jean.** Brandon Shigeta

Portrait of James Jean. Brandon Shigeta

When I began my career, I was struck by the lack of support I received from galleries and museums in Japan. I quickly learned that I needed to take the initiative to establish a place for myself in the art world. When I see an artist like James Jean, who at the age of 37 has achieved both independence and widespread recognition, I am both envious and filled with a desire to protect him from the forces that might assault that independence. Though he is perhaps best known for the dreamy, intricate illustrations that have graced the pages of Rolling Stone and The New York Times and the covers of DC comics and novels, Jean’s recent work as a painter has seen him create images densely layered with societal references and semiology. He calls these works, and the subconscious visions that inhabit them, “amalgamations of culture.” They draw freely from pop culture, myth, the internet and the margins of history, reflecting the chaotic mental state of living in an increasingly interconnected world. The contemporary art community has only begun to recognize the breadth of his work. It will take a brave and curious curator, one who can look beyond his technical virtuosity and ubiquitous internet presence, to unwind the many threads of meaning Jean now entwines. He deserves nothing less.

__*Kali.* Mixed media on paper, 41 x 30 inches, 2015.__

Kali. Mixed media on paper, 41 x 30 inches, 2015.

__*Ottoman.* Ink on paper, 8 x 5 inches, 2011.__

Ottoman. Ink on paper, 8 x 5 inches, 2011.

__*Adrift II.* Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 inches, 2016.__

Adrift II. Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 inches, 2016.

__*Bassoon.* Mixed media on paper, 41 x 30 inches, 2015.__

Bassoon. Mixed media on paper, 41 x 30 inches, 2015.


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