James Gortner
“Paintings are alive and changing and can never be finished. Their initial concepts are continually reconstructed and re-contextualized by curators, collectors and viewers. Each transforming the art further with their own imagination.”
-­James Gortner

I make paintings that synthesize my love of painting, sculpture, photography, conceptual art, and performance. My compositions feature the assemblage of several different found paintings of different artistic styles and genres. By cutting them up, positioning them, and painting into the assemblage with my technical span, ranging from hyper-­realist figuration, to abstraction, I can transition into, and out of art movements across decades and centuries together on the same surface.

My work begins by conceptual action: going out and sustainably sourcing found paintings, reclaimed paint, and wood for both a context rich, and “green” surface. The works charged materials become vessels for contemplation of metaphysics in this time of spiritual transformation and climate change.

Oscillating between abstraction and representation, I weave objects, colors and textures with both allegorical symbols and super human subjects. Figures hint at references to Greek and Roman imagery as easily as pop culture, fashion and modern design. I reimagine these forms in extra-­worldly environments, creating a mystical guardian of self-expression, imagination and desire.