James Rieck

American artist James Rieck paints models, but not in the way you might expect. In his colourful canvases he takes figures from adverts and recreates them capturing their clothes, their postures but not their faces.

“I used to paint from my own photos, but I found it more exciting to explore the ideas embedded in pictures used to sell products,” James told us. “By using the models in ads, I can bring my own point of view to the figures in my work, while still having the loaded content the ads carry.  

“I don’t focus on the face in my paintings, or even copying the ad. I bring the attention to the unspoken body language of the models, and their accoutrements. Often times it is a gesture or posture that I’m interested in. It’s there that I see the history of figure and portrait painting. There’s a similar language to presenting one’s best, with undertones of hiding. We know clothes are used to cover us up – they always tell us about what we are hiding from ourselves and each other.”

COLLECTIONS

Burger Collection, Zürich, Switzerland

Glenn Fuhrman, New York

NY halley k harrisburg, New York

NY Private Collection, Dubai

UAE Bollag-Rothschild Collection, Switzerland

Chadha Art Collection

The Netherlands Carol Trawick, Bethesda

MD Howard Tullman, Chicago IL

The West Collection, Oaks, PA

HONORS

2008 Individual Artist Grant, Maryland State Arts Council

2008 Individual Artist Grant, Baltimore City Arts Grant

2006 First Place, Trawick Prize

2006 Second Place, Bethesda Painting Awards

2006 Individual Artist Grant, Maryland State Arts Council

2005 Individual Artist Grant, Baltimore City Arts Grant

2005 Mid-Atlantic Arts Council, Artist Exchange (Mexico)

2004 Individual Artist Grant, Maryland State Arts Council

2004 First Place, Mid-Atlantic New Painting 2004

2003 The Municipal Arts Society Henry Walters Traveling Scholarship

2003 The Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture Fellowship

2003 Honorable Mention, MICA Graduate Painting Award

1987 MICA Painting Fellowship

EDUCATION

2003 Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture Skowhegan, ME

2001 - 2003 Maryland Institute College of Art, Mount Royal School of Art Baltimore, MD MFA

1987 Glasgow School of Art Glasgow, Scotland

1983 -1987 Maryland Institute College of Art Baltimore, MD BFA, Painting

“Coco”

Oil on canvas

2019

61 x 77h cm Oval

“Daisy”

Oil on canvas

2019

61 x 77h cm Oval