The Gods Are Smiling on Us
June 15th - July 10th, 2018
Dio Horia presented The Gods Are Smiling on Us, an exhibition of works by Todd James at the gallery’s Myconian location from June 15th through July 10th. The Gods Are Smiling on Us is Todd James’s first solo exhibition at Dio Horia after a two-week long residency in Mykonos, organized by Dio Horia’s residency program. The gallery hosted a soft opening reception on Friday, June 15th from 20:00-24:00 with the presence of the artist.
For The Gods Are Smiling on Us Todd James has created 9 new paintings and 12 new drawings that incorporate motifs that are central in his works. In addition, he has produced a new series of works inspired by his residency trip in Mykonos. Many of the works depict bikini- clad women in his signature vibrant palette. Often shown on holiday, his ladies exude a matter-of-fact, blasé mien that is belied by the vigor and energy of James’s saturated colors. His ongoing series of works depicting busy interiors and peaceful private spaces also make appearances in the exhibition. Finally, a new series of works inspired and referencing the architecture, scenery and colors of Mykonos is presented.
The juxtaposition of these works in one exhibition form a rich study of ordinary life in the western world. Subtle, measured, ordinary scenes and objects are the starting points for James’s works, while the final visual effect reveals a largesse of feeling. This is expressed through the artist’s knowing sense of humor, his painterly practices, and the way he depicts mundane gestures, daily inspirations and found objects.
The unique painting technique that James employs plays heavily on the idea of rearranging the traditional perspective of foreground and background, often mimics psychedelic patterns, and focuses on the flat use of colors and shapes without shading or varied tones in his depictions.
Todd James (b. New York 1969, USA) is a New York based artist and multi-disciplinary creator. James has been an integral part of many genre-expanding exhibitions: Street Market (Deitch Project, NYC, 2000), Beautiful Losers (Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, 2007), Art in The Streets (MOCA, Los Angeles, 2011), and most recently Beyond the Streets (Los Angeles, 2018). James also painted graffiti in New York under the moniker REAS in the early eighties, and collaborated on commercial works for the Beastie Boys, Iggy Pop and Eminem, amongst others.
He has exhibited extensively around the world, and his works have twice been selected for the Venice Biennale (2001, 2015). He has had solo exhibitions at Lazarides in London, NANZUKA in Tokyo, Galleria Javier Lopez/Fer Frances in Madrid, and the Eighteen Gallery in Copenhagen, among others. His work has been exhibited in group shows at The Tate Museum in Liverpool, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York, and The Geffen Contemporary in Los Angeles, among many others.