Anthony James was born in England in 1974 and studied from 1994-98 at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. He moved to New York in 1998 and ten years later to Los Angeles; after spending two years in Munich from 2013-2015, he returned to Los Angeles.
James gained recognition with his large-size work KΘ, short for kalos thanatos (Greek for beautiful death), from 2008. KΘ consists of a 244 x 244 x 488 cm, double mirrored show case that contains James‘ burned 355 Ferrari Spyder, which he destroyed in an act of sacrifice derived from Greek antiquity. The mirrored glass multiplies the remains of the car ad infinitum and the moment of destruction is frozen in time. The piece was first presented at a preview for the MoMA Associates, New York, and in 2010 at a solo show at Patrick Painter Inc., Los Angeles.
In 2013 James moved to Munich and created 21 amorphous bronze sculptures on stands of shell limestone. Inspired by Robert Rauschenberg‘s Cardboard-series, the artist submerged and molded cardboard boxes in wax, in order to burn them afterwards and cast them in bronze. That way the processual and fragile moment of transition from solid to ash was captured and perpetuated. They look weightless, almost fragile, and yet, they are incredibly heavy and sturdy.’ The works investigate the concept of mortality and recollection; they reflect the relationship between our present and the mythologies of the past. The title of the 2014 show “Morphic Fields” at Walter Storms Galerie refers to a quote by British biologist Rupert Sheldrake, who describes the process of transformation and the passing on of recollection in nature in his ‘hypothesis of formative causation’. The American author and art critic Glenn O’Brien said about James ‘There’s a kind of oracular vibe about the work, as if staring at it might be good.’
His works have been exhibited internationally, including Art Basel (2010) in Basel and Miami Beach. They are also part of private and public collections, such as the General Motors Building, New York, and the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art.
He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.