Todd James is an American artist whose paintings and installations have been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, including both the 2001 and 2015 Venice Biennale. James is a co-creator of Street Market, a major work of the post-graffiti movement that debuted at Deitch Projects in New York in 2001. Recent solo shows include Nanzuka in Tokyo, Galleria Patricia Armocida in Milan, Alice Gallery in Brussels, and V1 in Copenhagen. James has also exhibited his work at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, the Tate Museum in Liverpool, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Several monographs of his work have been published. James lives and works in downtown Manhattan.
The Vandal’s Bedroom by Todd James has been exhibited around the world since it made its debut at the Los Angeles MOCA in 2011. This graffiti-filled structure overwhelms the viewer with a teenage environment run amok. Part object, part installation, this bedroom-turned-graffiti-battle-station gives glimpses of plans for an imaginary artistic takeover. Bleeding marker drawings form letter styles from the rough and tumble 1980s New York subway era, while repurposed cartoon characters perform decidedly off-model activity. An adolescent cacophony of color, slogans, fantasies, and affiliations is all barely contained, ready to spill out of this eat, sleep, and breathe environment, celebrating early influences and the exercise of traditions that remain relevant, that hold up better than ever. This is the cluttered cell of the dedicated practitioner, vibrating with intent.
BEYOND THE STREETS New York, 2019. Photo by Dan Bradica.