There are border areas that interest Simon James, as he himself puts it. "The question of where something ends and something else begins". This focus reflects a piece of the biography of the artist, who was born north of London in 1967. Perhaps the many moves in his childhood were formative for this, but certainly a time. which can almost be summarized as "apprenticeship and wandering years" and which across Europe, about a street painting career in Munich, on to New York and finally back to England. Back in Munich in 2008, a studio at the Wiede factory in Johan-neskirchen has been there and is a haven of peace for a very concentrated person Confrontation. After the departure to ever new horizons, there was also a line here, a limit at the beginning of the work development, which is worked out and further developed in ever new facets until to-day. The painter applied this line to Gesso. A glue-bound chalk base that serves as a classic primer. An inner space was created above the processing of this line with sandpaper and the picture became an object. For some time now he has been coloring the chalk ground with pig-ment, laying it on top of one another layer by layer, provoking cracks in the material. grinds and revised. The result is a mixture of spontaneous placement and very fine-grained elaborations, which at times reminiscent of landscapes or figurations and in which inner landscapes are cer-tainly reflected. This very own picture world opens up an exciting arc between precise setting and free space for the viewer. Outside of his studio, the works of van Simon James have so far been seen relatively rarely. The visit to his solo exhibition in the root cellar of the Praterinsel, which mainly includes new works from 2015, is all the more recommendable.
My work is not so much about examining one subject which I pursue to a conclusion, but about laying down foundations and working through a collection of ideas, often overlapping discon-nected impressions. The work only becomes finished when I have dissected it to the point that only fragments remain.
I think as an artist you must let yourself go, but at the same time set limitations. It’s like a framework within which to work. By setting limits in certain ways, it forces you to investigate more intensely the details of what you are doing within the framework. It’s a kind of introspec-tion.