In the middle gallery in November we are featuring new graffiti-inspired paintings by James Kirkpatrick. For the past year, Kirkpatrick was busy building complex electronic sculptures for his mid-career survey exhibition at the JNAAG. Eager to paint again, he approached us with the idea to spray-paint a suite of large canvases in the upstairs atelier. Inspired by his graffiti past, the spontaneous paintings fuse together Kirkpatrick’s interest in hip hop, DJing, sampling, layering, repetition and a visual expression of a specific narrative.
James Kirkpatrick, born in London, ON in 1977, attended H.B. Beal Secondary School and received his BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2002. He has exhibited his work extensively throughout the US and Canada including shows in new York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver. In 2009 Kirkpatrick was featured in the group show Pulp Fiction, which traveled from Museum London to the MOCCA in Toronto and St. Mary’s University Art Gallery in Halifax. Kirkpatrick was included in the successful Not Bad For London group exhibition at the Michael Gibson Gallery and L.O. Today at Museum London.
In 2014 the McIntosh Gallery at Western University mounted a solo exhibition of James Kirkpatrick’s paintings, drawings, video, sound sculpture and installation work. Most recently in November 2018, the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery in Sarnia organized a mid-career survey of Kirkpatrick’s work dating from 1999. The exhibition is scheduled to tour to The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in 2019.
Also known for his participation in the early Canadian graffiti movement and as avant-garde hip-hop artist Thesis Sahib, Kirkpatrick works in a variety of media including drawing, painting, sculpture, zines, mask-making and experimental sound improvisation. In recent years, his work has incorporated sculptural, kinetic and auditory elements. By combining his 2D aesthetic with custom-built circuit-bent electronics, Kirkpatrick creates hand-held sculptures that function as both musical instruments and experimental sound machines. The sculptures are extensions of Kirkpatrick’s drawing and painting practice and are also used in his collaborations and live performances.