BECKER MINTY presents a VIP preview of James King’s upcoming exhibition “Assembly Required”

All works available to view and purchase at BECKER MINTY website here

Tell us about what you do? 
“I paint images of forgotten lives sourced from found or discarded photographs, reinterpreting their meaning and recontextualising their narrative in a contemporary setting.”
Daytrip 2020, James King, Oil on Board, 30 x 25cm

When did you first meet Mr Minty? 
“I met Jason through a friend who was our first neighbour when we moved to the Southern Highlands in 2004. He was looking for artists to represent when he was starting up Becker Minty back in 2007.”
Tell us about the first piece / collection of works you showed with Becker Minty? 
“The first exhibition was “Better days” in 2008 and was the beginning of my interest in found photos. The response to the show was overwhelming and I knew then that I was on the right path.”
What was the first thing you ever created?
“I was going to say “mess” but it’s not very creative, I was just a typical kid that did typical kid things. I think I created a visual bank of images in my head from all of that Saturday morning television my eyes were glued to.”

The Truthtellers 2020, James King, Oil on Canavs, 185 x 155cm
Why is it imperative for you to create? 
“It’s the only thing I’m good at. The act of creation requires a hundred percent focus, calming my brain. It allows me to distil all that I’ve experienced in life and channels my energy into the painting or drawing that is in front of me.”
Where do you go - physically, mentally or virtually - to ignite your creativity? 
“I watch a lot of art films, read extensively both fiction and non-fiction, scour the web for found photographs and even listening to music can get the juices flowing.”

What are three things you do to stay sane? 
“Talk to my wife, live in the country, work in a communal art studio “

Huddle 2020, James King, Watercolour and Gouache on Paper, 21 x 15cm
What are you excited about right now? 
“The really big canvas that’s in my studio on my brand new counterweighted easel… Australian made, of course!”
What are you working on?
“The really big canvas in my studio. That and a whole bunch of new works for my upcoming solo show.”

Where do you work from?  
“I have a studio at the SHAC in Robertson.”
What do you love most about your work space? 
“The communal nature of it and the artistic energy of multiple practices under one roof.”

Photo Booth 2020, James King, Watercolour and Gouache on Paper, 21 x 15cm
Do you have any rituals you perform before creating? 
“My half hour commute from Mittagong to Robertson. It’s the most beautiful drive, it clears my head and by the time I arrive I’m ready for a days work.”
Where does your process begin?
“I always start with a small study to get to know an image and see if the composition is working. I never trace or project an original source image, instead I find the process of turning it upside down and drawing a study far more rewarding.”
Biggest obstacle you face whilst creating?
“Lack of sleep.”
What do you listen to while you work? And yes, silence is an option. 
“Music and lots of it but the genre is completely dependent on my mood… classical right through to punk. And yes, silence in the days when a CD stopped and your hands were covered in paint and you couldn’t put a new disc on.”
Favourite tool to work with? 
“My new easel!”

Broken Promises 2020, James King, Oil on Board, 20 x 15cm

What colour makes your heart sing? 
“The inky blackness of burnt sienna mixed with permanent mauve and I cannot forget crimson alizarin, like clotted blood!”
Most loved scent? 
“Too many to list but I’ll try: Breakfast, especially when someone else is making it; A good curry; lamb on the fire pit; an oil painters studio; freshly ground coffee… need I say more?”
What word or phrase drives you nuts? 
““Woke”, “fluid” (don’t get me started!), and “moving forward”.”
What would like to see or hear more of in the world? 
“People shutting their mouths and listening more.”
Best advice you’ve been given?
“If you keep working (as an artist) you’ll eventually get noticed.”

Assembly Required 2020, James King, Oil on Board, 50 x 45cm

“Painting images from the past and bringing to life new narratives I seek to understand my own experience growing up in a fractured family dynamic. Keeping a family or a group of people together requires work but as I’ve discovered it’s an emotional cost that has proven difficult throughout my lifetime. Too often conflicting personalities have ruptured any hope of harmony and in our efforts to appease, there are consequences.” - James King

“Assembly Required” exhibition runs from 28th August – 21st September, SHAC, Robertson, NSW.

All works available to view and purchase at BECKER MINTY website here.