Born in Melbourne, Australia.
Lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.
James Little is an emerging artist whose practice concerns the changing dynamics of online and offline environments for artists, galleries and the viewer. It is an umbrella exploration of the ‘meta-artist’, oscillating between digital and traditional formats, examining the weakening contrast between ‘IRL’ and ‘going online’ and how this impacts the gallery and artist structures.
His images are created by appropriating his training as a photorealistic portrait drawer, and using digital techniques to mimic that process. This digital process evokes the effects of a photorealistic drawing, having digitally applied drawing marks and textures to the image to make it appear drawn by hand.
It is a digital image that mimics a drawing, that was a drawing mimicking a photograph. The image is coated with paraffin wax that visually clouds the viewer’s ability to distinguish between it being a photorealistic drawing or a photograph. This new image is a ‘meta-drawing’ and sits between a traditional and digital image.
This exploration is expanded by incorporating the smartphone app Instagram, which has had an unprecedented effect upon contemporary art culture. The audience has become the commodity with the amount of likes/followers an account has creating relevance and speculative value to the artworks and artist’s career, with artists more than ever serving as brands for themselves. It examines both the successes and difficulties with experiencing art on a smartphone screen, due to Instagram’s superficial attention culture and rapid visual digestion.
Little critiques this subversion for art engagement by digitally inserting his artworks into renowned gallery spaces, and posting them as digital archives of actual exhibitions onto his Instagram account. To promote these digital exhibitions, Little humorously creates digital advertisements for these exhibitions by using photos of existing billboards and banners. His artworks are able to be infinitely recontextualised for the viewer and addresses the fallacies of the app and the post-internet navigation of art, while also advancing the liminality of Little’s meta-practice, exploring the areas between physical and digital worlds.
Little completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts at RMIT, Melbourne in 2011.