James Mortimer is a 27-year-old artist and sculptor from Bath. Described as Dutch master meets Oscar Wilde meets Pete Doherty, his 2015 solo show of paintings at the Catto Gallery in London made such an impact that the Independent’s art critic, Charlotte Cripps, dubbed him ‘one to watch.’
Born and brought up in Swindon, Wiltshire, James has an artistic lineage – most notably, the 18th century painter and etcher, John Hamilton Mortimer. He studied sculpture at the Bath School of Art and Design under the tutelage of, among others, Gavin Turk, a pioneer of many forms of contemporary British sculpture. Central to his degree show was a large risqué sculpture of two men and a woman in an act of passion; ‘The Great Penetration’ won him the Kenneth Armitage Prize.
James, who sold his first painting while studying Art and the History of Art at New College in Swindon, has had made a considerable mark on the art world with more than 20 exhibitions at fairs and galleries including Hampstead’s Catto gallery, the James Freeman gallery in Islington and the Accesso gallery in Pietrasanta, Italy.
His provocative style challenges the viewer with images of decadence, aggression, sexuality and fantastical creatures. His art is inspired by a love of the ridiculous and is the antithesis of the British reserve in which he was brought up.