James McQueen is a Contemporary artist who was born in 1977.
James McQueen has been living between New York & London where he has been an actor for over 30 years.
“I’ve always been a lover of art, my grandfather read and had a huge collection of Penguin books, which I was fascinated by as a child. He would often read them to me, but I was more interested in the way the way books looked.
I started my own Penguin book collection as an adult and decided I wanted to own a life size canvas version. I had no desire to buy one, so started to create my own.
I painted one to begin with, then a neighbour of mine expressed his interest and friends started asking too. I soon had other people requesting commissions.
Planning and painting the books was always something I enjoyed doing in my spare time and still is.
It has always just been a bit of fun to me and always will be!
Having a collection of more than 300 Penguin books myself, I just love everything about them, recreating different versions of the old classics is a pleasure. The finished articles are designed to reflect the age of the books, using layers and layers of paint, which are then sanded down to create amazing patina, and finished with lacquer.
My work is designed so that people can own affordable pieces of art to enjoy.” James McQueen
Taking a humorous view on the popular artists of the current market, he has combined the famous symbols of the likes of Banksy with the popular imagery from Harland Miller’s satirical paintings of the reimagined Penguin books, creating a collection of extremely high standard original pieces on canvas.
Working on canvas mainly, there is many weeks of layering the paints, which gives the art a truly authentic vintage finish, exactly as you would expect to see an old book. The care and attention that goes into each piece is obvious to the eye immediately. Each canvas is finished with a varnish that allows the colours and textures to pop from backdrop and gives each piece a unique finish, creating an almost 3-d effect.
The application of the medium really shows how serious the artist is about the work, albeit the humorous undertones.
Within the market. James’ work has been recorded as selling in galleries for prices ranging from £4000-£7000 for original works.
James McQueen’s work has been offered at auction multiple times, with realized prices ranging from $1,102 USD to $6,388 USD, depending on the size and medium of the artwork. Since 2018 the record price for this artist at auction is $6,388 USD for Who The F*** Is Banksy, sold at Chiswick Auctions in 2018. But more recently during Lockdown 2020, a piece was auctioned to raise money for the NHS and sold for just under £15,000.
Soo Turner, of Turner Barnes Gallery says “This is an exciting time for James McQueen as popularity of his work is just starting to take off. We are seeing the beginning of what is certainly an interesting journey and one day he may reveal who he really is!”