From the Bike to the Canvas

“Underneath It All”. James Nye. 2011. Oil on Canvas

So if it wasn’t enough pedalling 1500km down The Danube over 5 weeks, how about turning that inspiration into a series of new paintings. Well that is what has happened. My Mom and my journey took us through numerous villages and small cities in southern Germany, through Austria to Vienna, into Slovakia to the city of Bratislava and eventually into Hungary where we rode into the heart of Budapest. All along the way there were interesting sites but none quite as interesting as the physical graffiti that dotted the walls along our way. Just over one year later I am pleased to present some new oil paintings that were born through our journey.

“Leaving Ulm”. James Nye. 2011. Oil on Canvas

These paintings are a testament to the centuries old tradition of humans expressing themselves through paint on the walls of their dwellings, surroundings and respective territories. My fascination with these modern day cave paintings have kept me busy recreating their messages for the last 10 years. Beginning in Vancouver and Toronto, where the alleyways contain lofty and scrawling messages, my interest in documenting and sharing this graffiti has only grown. “Aesthetically the paintings are reminiscent of reflections, where colour overlaps form. The juxtaposition of graffiti with the landscape offers a new way of seeing both.” By capturing instances of graffiti and its specific location I am able to create compositions that show a completely unique way of seeing both. The landscape provides both a context and a human scale for the graffiti. The graffiti provides the human element to the landscape. In combination, these two elements create a different way of seeing graffiti within the landscape. This is the mindset that would colour my vision on all my future travels.

“Talk to Stop”. James Nye. 2012. Oil on Canvas

There were the sprawling overpasses in Montreal. There were maze-like streets in Venice and the old world charm of Prague. The bustle of Berlin and the excitement of Amsterdam. Then there was the towering metropolis of New York. In all these places there was one thing in common, evidence of the human hand. It is written on the wall. My interpretation of these marks know hang on a wall. Where people come to see the lifeblood of culture. Through the painter’s eyes we are shown part of ourselves. In this new collection of paintings can you see yourself?

To see these paintings in person check out BOX12 Art Show and Sale this weekend.
To see these paintings online, visit my website


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