With the quickness, a Q & A with James Jean


James Jean has a solo show, Kindling, opening at Jonathan Levine Gallery tomorrow night, January 10th.  We got a couple minutes of his time for some fun questions.

Tell me if this sounds correct?  You’re never not drawing.

Indeed, I have a toothbrush attached to the end of my pen and was born with an immunity to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Your blog is pretty extensive and awesome, so many images on it. How do you have the time?
There’s never enough time!

The work you did for Prada in 2007 really exposed your artwork to wider audience but, after that year you stopped doing commercial work to focus on your own art.  Why?
I always wanted to focus on my personal work. Prada was the height of my commercial art career, and I wanted to stop while I was at the apex.


Kindling is your first solo show and the hugest amount of work you have created for a gallery to date, how did the title come about and where did the ideas come from?
Much of the work in the show is on paper, and I felt like “Kindling” alluded to it’s combustible nature, both physically and thematically. The work is both precious and disposable, dry and withered yet capable of inflammatory violence. I drew from ideas and motifs that have appeared in my work through the years, and this show marks their semi-retirement as the work evolves.

What is the last dream you remember?

I don’t usually remember my dreams.

Did you ever watch Secret City, the 3d drawing show on PBS during the 80’s?
No . . .

(Enablist’s Note: You should)

What are your must visit spots in NYC?
I always eat in K-town and visit my friends in Brooklyn and Queens.

Any words for your fans?

Thanks to James for taking a moment of his time.

And a special thanks to Eric Nakamura for allowing us use of the intro photo. For more images of James from Giant Robot 54, click here.

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