James Seward

Brooklyn, New York
My Father in the Living Room of Our 10th House
Brooklyn, New York
Collection of the artist


I believe every person has a story to tell and I attempt to capture that story with every portrait I paint. When we come into the world we are empty vessels. Time fills our vessels with experience, thus our experiences become our biography and our biography then becomes our identity. In essence, we are the space in which those experiences unfold. Therefore, each portrait is a futile attempt to prehend the unseen. Furthermore, I paint to prolong an instant that is seen momentarily with the eye, and express what is not seen yet is remembered for eternity on canvas. The human face is an open page in a book that is constantly being written. I expose all of the previous chapters using light, color, composition and form. Additionally, the realistic nature and magnitude of each piece allows one to come into close proximity with the fragility of existence. Every life is but a parenthesis in eternity. Consequently, the subjects I paint are impermanent and so are the tools with which I paint them; thus I must capture the consciousness that is changeless, the observer that never dies, the space in which all stories reveal themselves.

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