James was born in Toledo, OH, spent most of childhood near Dallas, TX and received a BBA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2015. He spent three years in the Bay Area, and is now currently living in Chicago, IL. In Fall 2019, James began the Post-Baccalaureate Painting & Drawing program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). James has previously worked as an analyst, developer and studio assistant.
Artist Statement

Longing turns to desire, mourning to melancholy, complacency to joy, liking to loving and passivity to action, but what is the boiling point?

There’s a pressure to look inwards and document information lodged within the psyche, but letting someone else in is hard.

I want to care for the surface, while trying to be in touch with what’s below.

Markings, text and images come and go. Organisms, angels, demons, spirits comingle in a murky swamp.

Stories and feelings are confused about what stories and feelings they tell. What to feel, what to sense?

I want to have a one-on-one conversation. My work records this attempt with nervous optimism.

1_animal-kingdom - James J Gu
2_til-212 - James J Gu
3_came-out-of-us - James J Gu
4_psychic-somewhere - James J Gu