James Ulmer's art is great. With an arresting style of mark making that harmonises naivety and composition, his work give us childhood flashbacks and a sudden craving for super hero cereal. Side note: does anyone else remember digging through the Corn Flakes box trying to fish out the surprise plastic figurine? Hey Kellogg’s, bring that back.
James is a Philadelphia native but has been living and working in New York for a few years now, making his understated, simple drawings and paintings from his Brooklyn studio. Inspired by comic books, toys and cartoon references, his work is at once fun, original and familiar. Equal parts measured composition and spontaneity, he utilises a repetition of characters, colours and line. Within his paintings of crowds of people, we see vague narratives in the glimpses of characters’ personalities and gestures shared between people.
His line is charmingly smudgy, wobbly and ambiguous with confident colour choices and use of space. We’ve enjoyed watched James delve into more colour this year, with a limited palette of primary hues. Bold side profiles and abstract bodies are giving us some serious Horst Antes vibes combined with his Matisse-esque colour palette.
James’ work is a joy to view and a tasty feast for the eyes. We can’t wait to see where his work pushes him next.