James Bullough Bio

burst by jame bullough

James Bullough is an American born artist who grew up in Washington DC and now lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

As a kid growing up in the exurb of Washington DC, Bullough was fascinated with the innovative graffiti art that he used to see around the DC subway. He began developing an interest in making his own art inspired by the edgy urban art, which came innately to him. He started studying the mastery of the Old Masters and illustrating extraordinary oil paintings of urban contemporary art.

His work is about creating captivating contrasts and juxtapositions, which he achieves by integrating the momentum of one image and the technical of the other. In most of his works, Bullough leans heavily towards photorealism combined with 3D effects, producing paintings that strike a balance between realistic figurations and stylized intervention. He works with oil, latex, acrylic, spray paint among other materials.

Bullough’s transition has been like any other artist; from doing small pieces on walls of train tracks around his hometown to massive murals on the sides of tower blocks. He moved from the United States to Germany in 2010, after quitting his job as a middle-school teacher in Baltimore, the US. With the desire to focus on his artwork full-time, he’s never regretted the decision, acknowledging it’s the best decision he ever made in his life. It was best for the world; perhaps we couldn’t be seeing his stunning pieces of art that exist today.

While in Berlin, he found himself concentrating his efforts to the spray can as opposed to his initial paintbrush. His seamless transformation from painting photorealistic oil murals using a paintbrush to creating photorealistic spray-paint murals has attracted the attention of many art fanatics. In his first three years in Berlin, he worked with another American born and Berlin based artist Addison Karl under the name JBAK.

james bullough artwork of a woman in blue shirt

The pair gained popularity for their various works and wide-ranging murals across Germany and the US. One of their major artistic accomplishments in Berlin is his ‘Totem’ mural, done at Landsberger Alle 228B in 2014. This epic mural bursts with color and imagination, featuring three individuals all standing on each other’s backs – forming the totem. It looks more of an acrobatic art to a Layman’s eye and stands as tall as 11 stories. The duo had to employ a crane when they painted the mural and the job took over a month to complete.

Today, Bullough works as an independent artist, balancing his time between mural painting and studio work. A quick look at his work will show you he prefers to paint people in his trademark colourful style. He especially decorates women onto dull walls, crushing the blankness with the magnificence of beauty of the smooth delicate skin of women and long flowing hair. His Desi mural in Brooklyn, NYC is a perfect example.

James Bullough artwork of person jumping in the air

VantagePoint Radio

Bullough also has eyes for other ventures apart from art. In 2014, he introduced a new project to the world as co-creator and host of VantagePoint Radio. The interview show focuses on urban art and the graffiti/mural artists who occupy the genre. Each episode features an established artist or a group of artists in the contemporary art scene and Bullough sheds light on their lives and works.

Exhibitions

Since his departure from the US, James Bullough has returned to his mother country for several exhibitions. His last visit to Los Angeles in May 2016 saw him exhibit a series of works called ‘Breaking Point’ at the Thinkspace Gallery, which was nothing less than jaw-dropping.

Thinkspace Gallery – Breaking Point

In this series, Bullough captures fractured moments of existence; disruption and personal break through the expressive body motion, asking his models to channel individual memory and to remember encounters of “breaking” at the time of their capture.

Working with dancers from Berlin, he starts with the body movement, captured in an expanse of negative space, then disguises it further, grafting, striating, and dividing its surfaces and planes. The models remain mysterious and faceless all through, an exclusion planned to reaffirm the typical universality of the emotive physical motion.

This masterpiece shows how his style has evolved significantly over the years. Previous works featured graphic inclusions and interruptions, with areas of the subject clearly removed. His recent works are more dynamic as he shifts and activates the interrupted segments of the figures rather than delete them. Areas of the body are superimposed, shaking with transitional movement as opposed to being static.

Generally, Bullough has attended many exhibitions in Germany and the United States. He was also invited, among other international artists, to exhibit his works at the Stolenspace Gallery in London, the UK in December 2015.

His illustration of photorealistic imagery challenges the viewer’s perception of reality by shifting and breaking up the bodies he paints. Bullough is simply proving that tower blocks and city walls shouldn’t be a dull opaque white, but instead a playground for creativity.

 
Source: MuralForm
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URBAN NATION @ LOLLAPALOOZA FESTIVAL 2015

art cube from urban nation at lollapalooza 2015

The Lollapalooza festival was nothing short of explosive. The festival made a spectacular debut claiming success even before the festival was completed. The festival offered the attendees a chance to indulge in a once in a lifetime art experience. They constructed a magnificent installation in the middle Tempelhof airport.

art cube at urbannation lollapalooza festival

THE CUBE – was an installation that was used by seven artists to display master art pieces. These artists had horned their skills to perfection finding harmony between street art, and modern art. Approximated at eight meters, it included passages where visitors would have the relish of exploring the fine art that was hanging around.

URBAN NATION received an invite from Lollapalooza to attend the festival. URBAN NATION would fuse music in with the art and form a musical marriage. This collaboration would bring forth Europe’s Lollapalooza festival where people could come and enjoy art.

URBAN NATION is an organization, that supports young artists who have their eyes set to leave a mark on the urban scene. This Berlin based organization, brings together local and international artists together, to create projects on how to beautify urban spaces. The organization is set to help artists, access the best in inspiration and find audience to critic or applaud their work. The organization is non- profit and its initiatives and accomplishments are supported by exhibitions and local workshops.

URBAN NATION is a baby project by the Berliner Leben Foundation. This organization has been running under the guidance of Yasha Young. A foundation, by the name of Gewobag Gewobag founded the Berliner Leben foundation back in 2013. The aim of this was to provide platforms that promoted the general development of the city districts in Berlin.

The foundation, has its eyes set on equal participation and cultural integration that is important in keeping the society aware of their surroundings. They also focus on the needs of senior citizens, sport development and finding aid for youth who need funding.

The Lollapalooza is a festival that takes place annually. It is an amazing music platform where popular artists perform popular genres of music to multitudes of years. This festival invites a wide range of artists who take their time, to display the mastery of their crafts. People are in love with Lollapalooza simply because it offers a buffet of art displays and music ready to seduce the eras of the gods. This festival has proven to offer a free platform, where nonprofit based political groups, and visual artists find voice for their causes.

Molded and brought to life in 1991 by the melodious Perry Farrell who was famously known for Jane’s Addiction. Lollapalooza took a break in 1997 and stayed dormant till 2003. The festival took the chance to tour north America just as a way to advertise their epic return. The year 2004 was not such a good year for the festival due to low ticket sales.

Back in 2005 musician star Pharrell Williams worked with the sports entertainment company one known as C3 Presents.  The result of this collaboration stamped the festival as it is now. Grant Park in Chicago was to host the festival as a weekend destination kind of festival.

Lollapalooza has taken the festival to other locations like, Chile, Brazil and recently Berlin. Hosting to over 160,000 people during a period of 2-3 days where people indulge in various art forms and let their hair down.

“THE CUBE-Think out the box” held on September 12th -13th was the first alliance the Lollapalooza festival was having with Europe and expectations were high. Hosting both international acclaimed artists and local celebrity artists, the art spoke through and journalists took their time to collect information that they needed for their publications. The music was up to our expectations and the art did sooth our minds. It’s like a piece of nirvana.

The director of the festival Fruzsina Szep had these reassuring things to say “Lollapalooza is more than a music festival. It is a blend of music, fashion, art, food and cool projects for children,”, he added, “I am very excited about the artistic spirit that URBAN NATION will bring to our festival. It’s great that URBAN NATION has chosen to embrace this adventure and help us make Lollapalooza a one-of-a-kind Berlin festival.”

The festival was jam packed with renowned international artist who appreciate the festival platform. Appearances were made with artists like fat boy, muse and Sam smith just to mention but a few. Some of the pieces were created by famous faces such as, Telmo Miel, Alexis Dias, James Bullough, Case Maclaim, Tankpetrol from Manchester, and Li Hill just to mention but a few.

The marriage between URBAN NATION and Lollapalooza has proved to be fruitful. There are many plans to make it even more explosive every year!

 
Source: MuralForm