Contemporary artist James O'Connell has mastered form and style.

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James O’Connell graduated from University Arts London in 2015. Self-taught, with no formal training in painting and draughtsmanship, he developed his style by studying historical techniques.


Fascinated by luminosity, his paintings are built through multiple layers, beginning with a black and white underpainting to establish depth. Colour is then applied on top in translucent, glass-like layers.

His eclectic painting style has granted him diverse exposure, receiving an international accolade for contemporary painters, exhibiting with prominent 20th Century artists and being shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award for three consecutive years. In response to the radical changes taking place in the 19th Century, Paul Cézanne stated that ‘one must see nature as no one has seen it before’.

Employing illusions, perspective and symbolism, James’ intention is to create an object which does more than represent reality. “I want to go beyond what the eye or camera can provide. When creating a portrait for example, I want to find ways to capture the unique essence of the sitter. Candid and honest – to describe the detail of their character with every brushstroke.”

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