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@helmsink

James Helms (b. 1973)

I love that water and water-bound pigments have a mind of their own. Different pigments have distinct personalities. Some pigments race aggressively through others, pushing them aside. Others unfold with lacy nuance. Compositions evolve as they dry. Contours, blooms and transparency are both planned and unpredictable. I use calligraphic inking to discover and celebrate those surprises. Lending new definition and dimension. My work slips between the abstract and representational. Between air and mass. Playing negative and positive. Evoking stillness and motion. My goal is to draw my audience in with composition, then surprise them with unexpected detail. I find the hard lines of India ink magnify the ambiguous painting. Sometimes defining matter, sometimes creating space. But always adding a committed point of view. A layer of precision.
As with all non-representational work, my work invites viewers to bring their own experience, their own interpretation. I draw inspiration from the materials them selves - through experimentation. And I’m inspired by the textures and imperfections of nature and biology. Philosophically, this work is about both ceding and seizing control. And celebrating the beautiful chaos that unfolds.

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