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<i>Two Figures, 2006, Oil on canvas, 72” x 84”</i>
Two Figures, 2006, Oil on canvas, 72” x 84”

“There were giants in the earth in those days” – a cryptic passage in Genesis that hints at the interbreeding between humans and angels - kickstarts Stanley’s figurative journey that weaves humanity into myth. Exploring the myriad meanings and motives of this phrase, Stanley takes a broader exegetic stance, using this line to open a door to a time where anything was possible. It was a time when man was so young, and his understanding of good and evil so nascent, that there was an explosive and inspiring sense of innocence.

<i>Guard, 2006, Watercolor on paper, 5x8"</i>
Guard, 2006, Watercolor on paper, 5x8"
Through large-scale canvases and delicate watercolors, Stanley casts present day man in this context, creating provocative parallels that cut to the nature of morality. In Two Figures, Stanley creates an uneasy tension between two young men and the viewer: one in full, heroic, battle regalia (a self-portrait of the artist) - the other in casual civilian attire, capturing a moment of ambivilant calm before the storm. Stanley’s subjects are typically attired and accessoried in a historically dualistic manner: ranging from the primitive to the paramilitary, tribal masks to gas masks.

As though blurring the distinction between his modern subjects and a biblical setting, Stanley ‘s paintings appear to belong to no particular place in time, each form firmly rooted in the flesh. With himself, family members, and others close to him as his focus, Stanley’s explorative journey leads the viewer through a succession of pleading, witnessing, and unveiling gazes. As the poet Kirsten Andersen said of his work:

“The collected images in this body of work are people and objects in motion, people still engaged in the life process, still breathing the vitality of breath, but not without making adaptations...The portraits could be mirrors—the subject staring back at its reflection, in search of itself”

James Everett Stanley lives and works in New York City. He received his MFA from Columbia University, New York, in 2005. Early this year Stanley exhibited in Freight + Volume’s project space and has recently been included in two group exhibitions at Bucket Rider, Chicago, IL and at Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL. In 2005, Stanley was the recipient of a Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Studio Program space and participated in residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture 2002 and Fine Arts Work Center 2002-2003
<i>Soldiers, 2006. Watercolor on paper, 11x12"
Soldiers, 2006. Watercolor on paper, 11x12"

JAMES EVERETT STANLEY - There were giants in the earth in those days
September 14 - October 14, 2006
Freight + Volume
New York, NY
542 West 24th St, NY 10011
New York
North America

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