James Charles was one of the two recipients of the Utah Arts & Museum’s annual Visual Art Fellowships this year. He won for a new body of work, completed after a debilitating neck injury left him unable to paint for a two-year period.
The works are minimal, restrained touches of color on white surfaces, and scaffolded on strict grid, multiple squares floating on top of and embedded into the paintings’ surface. Recently Charles has expanded this aesthetic to three-dimensional works, carrying to these pieces reiterated motifs like the rose.
Our video profile shows Charles at work in his studio, sizing up compositions and carving out panels, as well as discussing his life, the ideas behind his works and the power of symbols.