Contemporary portrait artist to showcase new series in upcoming solo show

23 Mar 2023   |  Journal

Contemporary artist James Green is to exhibit his genre-defying mixed-media paintings this spring in a solo show in conjunction with Canvas Gallery, Poolewith the Private View held at exclusive Sandbanks members club, SuStudio.

The Private View (ft. drinks & canapés) will run from 6pm – 9pm on Friday 18th May at exclusive Sandbanks ‘conscious-wellbeing’ members club, SuStudio [LINK] – from where the show then moves across the road to Canvas Gallery [LINK] until 12th May. If you are in the area and would like to come along to the exhibition, please let me know – or email Chris at

‘ANYTHING GOES’ showcases a new series of work [LINK] by artist James Green that, using art as a visual language, expressively disregards traditional rules in art. Having started out from a very young age as a realist painter, Green felt restricted by the limitations enforced by creating in this manner. Feeling free to cast off formal technique a decade or so ago, the artist felt compelled to draw inspiration from his personal lived experience to begin laying the foundations of the highly unique style we see today.

Working from the same street as Damien Hirst yet stylistically opposite, James Green’s work is created in a process that he describes as ‘a riot of vivid unpredictability’. Green is making his mark in the art world – attracting attention from top galleries and international collectors – through raw, instinctive paintings that embrace identity & originality; enriched by his own brand of chaotic extravagance.

“I might not produce what people expect from an artist having grown up surrounded by the beautiful landscapes admired throughout The Cotswolds, but thanks to persevering with my own personal contemporary/expressive style, my work lives in collections around the world. Art for me is about putting everything about me down on paper (or whatever surface) and what I can accomplish with spontaneous, abstract paintings; I could never hope to achieve with contrived compositions. They are genuinely one-off, unique pieces claimed by specific moments. They are entirely unrepeatable. I wouldn’t even want to try.”

The two week exhibition inevitably explores the notion of the self – and features large scale works on raw/unstretched canvas, as well as smaller works on paper, and unconventional found objects.

“Looking forward to this one… The Sandbanks audience typically connects with my work well. Plus, it’s always a delight to be by the ocean… I’ll be getting into the sea – rain or shine!”

A note on how I came to work with Canvas Gallery

I owe a lot of thanks to the connections I’ve made along the way. Everything that’s ever happened for me by way of opportunity has all been a result of someone I’ve met. Jeez, this is starting to sound something like the start of an award acceptance speech… I mean, I’m not a millionaire by any stretch (and I have no interest in becoming one). But without the connections I’ve made along the way, I wouldn’t be able to spend everyday doing what I sincerely love.

When I first left art school back in 2010, they (mentors, etc) always did say that ‘networking’ was crucial. I didn’t even really know what that word meant! To be honest, then aged 21, I didn’t even know if art was a career thing or just something that was part of me – and was something I might end up doing ‘on the side’. Long story short, I largely ignored that advice and was only bothered by the bit that brought me joy: painting.

It took a long string of short-lived jobs (from which after each working day I’d rush home to paint) that I finally began to accept (some five years later) that art was a big part of my ‘purpose’ (for want of a better term) – as cliche as that sounds. Art really was the only thing that ever made sense to me. It’s all I’d ever done with genuine conviction/intent. I always came back to it. So, anyway, in acknowledging my trend of hopping from job to job, I finally decided to give the art game a crack wholeheartedly whilst I had minimal responsibilities – and was therefore well-placed to take a gamble on myself.

So I painted like a madman (that hasn’t changed) – focussing on making work that was unique to myself – drawing inspiration from the colourful life I’d lived. I took a punt following the development of a body of work [LINK] that I was proud of and applied to exhibit at The Other Art Fair (London – 2018) – and was thrilled to be accepted. I had no idea, however, how influential that was to be – still to this day.

At that three day event, I sold enough work to cover the cost of my exhibition stand plus a bit more. More importantly, though, I met a number of what have since become long-term collectors of my work – who, unbeknown to them, were influential in turning a restless passion into a realistic career as an artist.

I started working with Canvas Gallery a few years ago after the owner got in touch following a conversation with a collector of mine (now great friend of mine, Martin Taylor [LINK]) that I’d met a number of years before that at The Other Art Fair – mentioned above.

At first, we weren’t sure how my work might go down in Sandbanks. Being on the coast, the owner of Canvas Gallery expressed that the audience were typically used to seeing seascapes and other paintings that reflect the area (there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s important to note!). However our first show down there went down a treat and I’m fortunate to be able to say that all work from the show sold out. Ever since that event a few years back, we’ve been collaboratively pushing the boundaries of the conventional ‘norms’ and our shows are becoming more and more challenging/unpredictable (I feel that’s an important part of our job!)… We even stapled a painting to the ceiling at my last solo show in the gallery last year.

It always comes down to integrity

I’ve learned so much about the power of being yourself at every/any given opportunity. To challenge thinking/perspectives means much more to me than any money I might be able to make. It’s my opinion that financial success should always be a byproduct/a happy coincidence of creating something from a place of integrity. Art is so much more than a commodity – we all know that!

A handful of works from the ‘ANYTHING GOES’ series…