James Graham was born in 1952, raised outside Philadelphia, and moved to New York in 1977. Inspired by the work of Velázquez, Goya, Pierre Chardin, and Rembrandt, he started painting and drawing in 1996 at the Art Students League of New York, and studied at the School of Visual Arts, the New York Academy and with Carlos Castaño.
Graham has focused solely on his artwork since 2001 after ending a twenty-year career on Wall Street as a trading system programmer. Previously, he worked in boat yards, sail lofts, fishing boats, had driven a bulldozer, and repossessed cars.
Graham is a lively observer of the most ordinary objects-a ceramic cup, leather jacket, a bottle of gin. His dynamic brushstroke and heightened perception of shape and spatial relationship articulate, animate, the invisible effects that border our lives. Through the medium of oil paint, he identifies innate splendor in the mundane and transforms the everyday stuff around us into extraordinary objects of desire.