James Vance (Asbury Park) “1871”, Sunset Pavilion, 2016, Asbury Park
“The numbers pieces began as large-scale, interior wall drawings for Barneys New York on Madison Avenue and Beverly Hills in the early 1990’s. I’m drawn to the amoral precision of numbers and the vast amounts of information their sequencing can convey. I returned to the subject in graphite and marker on paper in 2015, and moved to the larger format paintings on canvas a year later. When I’m working, I try to focus on the memories driving the piece, and let the numbers flow freely onto the canvas from where my mind is taking me at the moment. Inevitably, a pattern emerges and the portrait takes shape. I’m fascinated (and horrified) by information collected through data mining and other methods. With this work I turn the tables a bit: I’m mining my own data and putting it out in the world. I’ve always been into 70’s conceptual art, graphic design, and graffiti tags; this work is an ode to all three. The title #1871, refers to the year that Asbury Park was founded. It’s my love note to the city. Ultimately, I want people to forget everything I’ve said here and to interpret this in line with their own experiences. The meanings people attach to my work are important to me and integral to the success and meaning of the piece.” -James Vance
A native of Miami, James Vance is an accomplished artist and designer who moved to New York in 1985. Comfortable working in a variety of mediums, his paintings, drawings, and sculpture have been exhibited in New York, Miami, and Asbury Park, and have been featured in Visionaire and other international publications. In addition to working as a gallery director, James has designed theater sets, large-scale set pieces, and exhibitions for fashion and art events, most recently for The Whitney Museum of American Art. James is also known for his dramatically scaled prop and mural work which has appeared in the windows of Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, and stores worldwide. James resides with his partner and two bull terriers, Gus and Stella, in Asbury Park.