17 March 2011

James Bills



I like the matematical way of these drawings created by Brooklyn based artist James Bills (Washington,1972). Bills studied mathematics and fine arts at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY and received his Master of Fine Arts from the Mount Royal program at the Maryland Institute, College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, MD. At MICA he was awarded the Henry Walters Traveling Fellowship for research abroad in France where he infiltrated fashion shows during Fashion Week in Paris. His work was recently selected for the Drawing Center's Viewing Program in New York, NY and he is currently participating in the Artist in the Market (AIM) program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. A mixture of his interests in fantasy role playing games, information visualization and decorative arts, his work has been exhibited in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia and New York City. See more;

Bills is currently showing his work at Yes Gallery until 31th of this month (March). You can find the gallery on 147 India St. Brooklyn NY 11222.

Inspired by mathematics, these drawings fuse a variety of visualization tools, graphs, and diagrams with elements of architectural drafting, isometric projection and scalar measurements. Each piece can be seen as a chart of data or a rendering of a building or sculpture. However, rather than objectively collecting data, mapping it and presenting it for analysis, the artist is more concerned with the aesthetics and allure of the visualization process itself. The data is generated by chance using polyhedral dice found often with role playing games. These dice come in a variety of shapes, with 4 to 20 sides, and create random numbers within certain parameters (between 4 to 20) as well as bringing an element of fantasy. The numbers rolled are recorded and then meticulously applied to measurements in the drawing. Decorative finishes of gilding and colored pencil are then applied, providing more prominence on glamour, intricacy and beauty rather than a practical use. These familiar tools of mathematics are subverted to present not an explanation but a sense of natural and compelling disorder. - Yes Gallery