James Frederick Boman, born and raised in East London, is an assemblage artist with a sculpting studio in Hackney Wick. Influenced by artists such as Jean Tinguely, Heath Robinson and Kris Kuksi; James is best known for his sculptures made from found objects and mechanical components.   Boman the man and his fantastical machines is an artist with a unique style that is impactful with a surreal, dark and quirky edge.  Mixing modern industrial objects with anachronistic technologies his works would not look out-of-place in a Tim Burton movie! They are retro – futuristic inventions that compel the viewer into another world.  His work, his concepts, his machines are a dream, a sub conscious world, a fantasy that allows you to place your own narratives upon his spectacular, strange and truly wonderful creations. We adore your work James thank you so much for sharing your art with The Palette Pages!


Self taught or art school?

I studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art (Archway) and graduated back in 2012. It was chosen because of its relaxed atmosphere, there were only about 30 people on my entire course, which meant that everyone knew everybody and the ratio between student and tutor was great! The studios were close-by to a large network of council estates, I would go out with groups foraging for materials in skips/ anything I could get my hands on, I got my hands dirty, fun times indeed.

If you could own one work of art what would it be?

Anything by Kris Kuksi! One of my favourite pieces of his is “Caravan Assault Apparatus (2008)”, it is the first piece of his that I laid my eyes upon and to me it is pure beauty.

How would you describe your style?

I have been trying to pin-point the -ism that my work best falls into and I have been struggling to find one but I am looking at it in a positive way, it I must mean I’m doing something new! My style is very industrial, impactful; I make my pieces busy but also rather voided, in the past people have referred to my work as “Shadows”.

What are your favourite places to view art?

I have found a new love for Instagram actually, It’s the best place for seeing new art, the fresh unknown artist is the most sincere, the new private messaging feature also allows you to connect with new artists all around the world and opens up many collaborative opportunities.

Who are your favourite artists and why?

Jean Tinguely was an early inspiration, his machines fascinated me and in general the idea of an artwork having a physical function did too; if a work of art was given a physical function would it remain art or become design? (That is a question I ask myself every day and I’m still wrapping my head around it!)

What or who inspires your art?

My inspiration comes from the objects I come across, I collect oddities/anything that I find intriguing, those become the basis for anything new that I make. I think the core reason for making is to leave a legacy, a ‘relic’ for future generations to find that represents our existence. All objects started off as raw material in the earth; we do not create, instead we curate pre-existing elements.

Found objects are so rich in history (albeit unknown to us) that when we bring them together they create a new narrative; and by doing so we become part of their history also.

Where’s your studio and what’s it like?

I have a space at Stour Space Studios in Hackney Wick. It is an open plan space divided by girders, this means we can build walls if we want to, but its nice having other artists around you when you want them to be, it really is the perfect art environment that is easily re-molded to match my ever changing state of mind.

Do you have any studio rituals?

I like my studio to be completely tidy and organized before I leave, I wont sleep if I know that it’s a mess, due to its open-plan nature I treat it like a private gallery, so the first thing you see when you enter is completed works and anything new that I’m working on.

What are you working on currently?

My most recent works are exploring the ‘function’ of art objects My machines do not work, at least not in the traditional sense. Art is a machine that moves in a different way to the one we understand. Art is an idea; the art object is a vessel to carry that idea forward. Some people feel disappointed to learn that my machines are purely concepts and don’t actually move so I am running with it and making a series of “Machines that don’t work”.

Where can we buy your art?

I usually use Bigcartel but it is currently under construction, all of my works are for sale unless specified otherwise.
You can find me at: Alpharelic.com, Instagram.com/alpha_relic
And you can email me at eb.custom@yahoo.com for more information.

What are your ambitions?

My ultimate goal is to be able to produce work on a much grander scale and have my work seen by a much larger audience.

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