Todd James is an internationally renowned artist whose singular style and bright palette create vibrant worlds for his audience. Beginning his art career as a teenager in the New York City subway system of the early 1980s, James mastered the practical challenges of good design at an early age, and soon was designing many iconic logos for artists including Mobb Deep, the Beastie Boys, Iggy Pop, Redman, Pharrell, and Eminem. He also designed the Puppets for Comedy Centrals “Crank Yankers”. James has Collaborated with brands like Adidas, Supreme and Billionaire Boys Club and many others. By the late 1990s James was focused primarily on his fine art practice, and his subsequent work was twice selected for the Venice Biennale (2001, 2015). James often channels politics and humor into his paintings, and his war planes, tanks, and snipers remain some of the most potent iconography of the past two decades. James has exhibited his work in museums worldwide, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, the Tate Museum in Liverpool, the High Museum in Atlanta, the Abattoirs Museum in Toulouse, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
Art Party Is a collection of artistic themes that appear in the exhibit work of Todd James. Drawing from his decades-long practice James has selected six motifs that resonate strongly in our current moment. The Tanks, Warplanes, and Snipers all began to appear in James's work during the global conflict of the early 2000s, and are perhaps more relevant today than ever in their subversive critique of war. The cartoon treatment they receive softens the aesthetic blow, but allows the hit to connect, or as James says: “Sometimes you gotta laugh to keep from crying.”
The Graffiti, TitWizard, and Phantom Rider imagery, on the other hand, represent a return to childhood. The Graffiti collection was inspired by writing in its purest form: 1970s inspired bubble letters, with the piece brought to life with either a cobra or a classic graffiti character or “mug”. These are inspired by recent large scale paintings James created while revisiting his graffiti roots in an exhibit setting.
The TitWizards and the Phantom Rider explore themes of magic, lust, & death and are perennial favorites in the iconographic canon of James’ work. Representing mystery and power, these images also gesture back to the 1970s and adolescent years awash in sci-fi, cartoons, and Dungeons & Dragons, with a nostalgic nod to a more analog way of life.
All of these themes interact to create the Art Party, a gathering of disparate imagery that comes together joyously. Todd is excited to introduce a sampling of his art to the web3 community, and also to provide his IRL collectors who are new to the web3 space some familiar works to enjoy. Video Credit: BBC Ice Cream
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