“Everyone shows their colours in one way or another,” says Alexander James, looking back at the idea behind his last exhibition ‘These Colours Don’t Run'. The exhibition, at London’s Carousel, featured James’ work in paint, moving image and mixed media, as well as teasing at future work on clothing and fabric. The idea of colour has been central to James as his work has established him as one of the London art world’s up and comers.
Another key focus of These Colours Don’t Run, and James’ work, is the influence of old Western films. These films have always been important to James:“I love the whole setting and scenery. A lot of my paintings have a lot of neutral colours, and obviously a lot of these films are set in the ‘wild west’ and the desert and the mountains. It’s all very neutral and beautiful to look at.” It’s not just Western films that influence James, though. Moving images and film more generally also play a big role in developing his thought. He approaches his art in the same way storyboards are created, and everything he does is an attempt to tell a narrative. Unsurprisingly, James also draws inspiration from other artists, namely the legendary American abstract-expressionist Mark Rothko: “the grand scale he works on, its just super powerful. It’s amazing how he’s managed to change your perception by using one or two colour tones, but it’s so detailed.”