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From a stint in the United States Marine Corps to breakfast with John Wayne, James’ life has been as colourful as his art. Celebrated for his montage effects, he captures the American Dream through intimate portraits of stars like Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan and Grace Kelly. His painterly style has been likened to Francis Bacon, while the New York Times in 1962 prophesised that his art was ‘jazzy and up-to-date…an artist to watch’.

Moving to Los Angeles in 1962, he grabbed the attention of the art dealer Felix Landau, who had already introduced artists like Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Francis Bacon and David Hockney to the US art market. He went on to be commissioned to paint the covers of famous titles like Time magazine, and capture public figures like John Wayne and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Fotograf Marcus Almqvist

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