Studio Spotlight: James J.A. Mercer
October 8th, 2020
I came over to James' studio in Gowanus on a lovely fall day, a new space he just moved into. James is excited to be painting big again after making small works from home in quarantine. He has a bunch of ideas that have been on the back burner for months and months. He said: "Ideas can get weird, can get deranged when thought about too long. Hopefully some of that derangement will be productive."
"The initial impulse of the pet paintings came from thinking about what brushstrokes look like, what is the most natural object to render in paint with a brush, what does it want to look like? I decided on fur. This combined with an impulse for geometry and new attitudes towards cuteness brought on by Instagram were the genesis of the series."
"The computer as a tool for thinking is something I'm thinking a lot about, specifically programming custom software to paint from. I like to try and use the the computer for the way it thinks, for its ability to generate pattern and abstract form while emphatically not using it as a tool for material precision."
"I'm excited to hang out here and paint and listen to gratuitously sad rock music."
"I just made these two tiny mountain paintings, I'm still not sure how I feel about them. I want to look at them for a few months and see how I feel, maybe remake them maybe not."