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James Maurelle is an interdisciplinary artist, sculpture, video, photography, and sound art are his analog and digital primes. His work investigates the correlation formed between labor and creativity, at the center of this byway is the spirit of his work. Constructing objects and moving images are not unlike creating music compositions, the accompaniment, i.e., tools and materials, are a call and response to dexterity. The rubric to complete any composition is to know ones’ instrument(s)/tools; the creative process is based on this reciprocal understanding.
Jazz is the primer which propels the work, the tone/feel of every composition is in direct association with the culture. Every object I compose is a physical versioning of a historic recording or happening, every tool used is an augmented scale referencing an industrial progression. The materials (wood, metal, plastic, film) are the staff paper, and every committed strike upon these materials forms a note or chord. The fluidity connecting mind, hand, and tools are based on the augmented triad which is the cornerstone of my work ethic. The main objective is to continue creating full-bodied compositions, as long as the staff paper flows, I will inscribe upon it.
His work has shown in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Austin, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Richmond, Cincinnati, and San Francisco. He is a recipient of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Fellowship (2015).
[…] James Maurelle spoke to us from Philadelphia. Over the last year, COVID has affected his life in multiple ways. His wife is an essential worker, which brings with it anxiety about the family getting ill. Maurelle himself teaches over zoom these days and sets aside time on Tuesdays and Thursdays for his studio practice. A sculpture, sound and video artist, and photographer, Maurelle is finishing up work for an exhibition with the Cue Foundation. The fight for control of the waters of the Nile River has served as inspiration for some of Maurelle’s past work. He constructed a sculpture using copper plumbing pipes – Maurelle’s grandfather was a plumber who taught the trade to Maurelle’s father though his father became an architect. For this work, Maurelle used materials from the trade of plumbing to speak to the control of resources. To hear more about this work as well as Maurelle’s more recent work and his upcoming Cue Foundation show, listen to the complete interview. […]