By Laura-Anne Rowell
When you think of metal rarely do you think of dragons, owls or tigers, but that is exactly what artist Christopher James sees. His art has taken junk, fire and imagination to a whole new level.
James’ vivid imagination started early in his life. As a small boy he remembers his invisible friends he found in unusual places, “I’ve always been oddly creative, when I was a kid you could find me rummaging around junkyards, making things out of stuff I had found.”
When checking out his work online, you can see the beauty and graceful stances his creature’s take, but to see his mammoth creations in person takes art to a whole new level. The sheer size and detail of many of his creations is mind-blowing. The hours it must have taken to get metal to look like flowing fur or rippling feathers requires not only talent, but patience. Each piece has a distinct personality all their own. Some are cute and friendly looking, while others are a bit more demonic and creepy. All of his sculptures have a special place in Christopher James’ life that comes through when asked about a particular dragon that looks just like the evil one from Snow White. James confesses through a grin, “That one was inspired by my ex-girlfriend.” No further questions are asked about that one.
Christopher James agrees that there are distinct personalities and past memories in all his work. Where some artist see faces or bodies in blocks of marble or clay, James sees dreams, friends and animals in pieces of metal lying around in junkyards or the side of the street.
One thing that sets metal sculpture art in a field of its own is the versatility it allows the owner to use in displaying. James’ metal pieces come in all shapes and sizes and can be presented in an office foyer or outside the entrance of your driveway.
The next time you are coasting along Palm Canyon Rd, take a moment to see how many of James’ work you can spot. Some are outside the Renegades Art Studio and others along the strip sitting on top of buildings watching you, like an owl.
Recently, Christopher James has been commissioned by The Living Desert and is currently working on an adolescent reticulated giraffe and warthog for the zoo. But if you can’t wait that long to see his new pieces you can check out his older sculptures at Savage Gallery and Renegade Galley in Palm Springs or check him out on Facebook/Christopher James.