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."

IMG_8194.jpg
IMG_7156.HEIC

 

"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."

IMG_7154.HEIC
IMG_7176.HEIC
IMG_7158.HEIC
IMG_7168.HEIC

 

"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."

IMG_7172.HEIC

 

"I'm excited to hang out here and paint and listen to gratuitously sad rock music."

IMG_7147_edited.jpg

 

"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."

IMG_7150.HEIC

 

Visit James' site: jamesmercer.net

Instagram: @shimmering_ice_puzzle