Born in London in 1953, James Nares attended the Chelsea School of Art in London from 1972 to 1974 before moving to New York where he attended the New York Visual School of Art till 1976. He has lived in New York ever since.
A painter, a filmographer, and formerly a longstanding guitarist in No Wave band James Chance and the Contortions. While he was joining the band, Nares started creating films in the No Wave underground scene of the Lower East Side of New York. His most notable film being Rome 78. These films explored mood and texture above all. Nares took this same approach with his painting.
The key feature of Nares’ style of painting is his use of large brushstrokes packed with deep colors. An almost 3D effect is found in Nares’ painting because of his own manufacturing of oversized brushes. Grace Glueck of the New York Times described Nares’ painting as suggesting the intricacies of Japanese Calligraphy, yet also possessing a cartoony tone similar to that of Roy Lichtenstein.
Solo exhibitions of his have been held at; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Alte Oper, Frankfurt.
His work has also been presented in collections at; the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.