James King Artist

James King

visual artist


Born 1972, Sydney.

The year 2003 was a watershed. I won the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, organised by the South Australian Museum. It was the year that changed everything and I started to believe that painting was my true calling. Since then I've had shows in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Goulburn and the Southern Highlands. In 2007 I began my association with Becker Minty in Sydney's Potts Point. Without their support and commitment I wouldn't be where I am today. In 2011 I was the regional winner of the Goulburn Art Award as well as a finalist in the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize.

My work has often been described as quirky, sometimes dark and often humorous. The subjects range from bleak cloud filled landscapes, to portraits of people and objects painted on old hard cover books. An undercurrent of unease unites my subjects, threading its way through all my pictures. The core of my subject matter is found photographs from the mid twentieth century that have been lost or discarded. They have an immediacy and veracity that I have difficulty finding in today's media. Painting these images stems from an overwhelming desire to celebrate the forgotten life; I can't help but form a narrative with subject while I'm painting, hence the importance of painting them on old books; the title often alludes to the story I've conjured.

Where to from here? The most important thing is to keep working and produce consistent body of work. To challenge myself constantly and not get stuck on a single idea. Painting plein air is the perfect counterpoint to my other work, requiring total immersion in the subject and being completely present in the here and now. It is a response to my immediate experience and in many ways is a purer form of painting than anything else I do...it may be the one thing I keep returning to until the end.

James King 2014



2012 - Masters of Creative Arts, Wollongong University.
2000 – 2001 Certificate III Photography. Ultimo TAFE, Sydney
1994 Diploma of Fine Arts (deferred after completing First year). National Art School, Darlinghurst, Sydney
1990 – 1993 Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and Archaeology. Sydney University NSW


2018 Solo exhibition of paintings in ALM Ramatuelle, Southern France
2018 Solo exhibition of paintings from France at Becker Minty, Sydney
2016 "99 miles from L.A." Solo exhibition of paintings and photographs from the USA at Becker Minty, Sydney
2015 Solo exhibition of paintings from Japan at Becker Minty, Sydney
2014 Solo show at Becker Minty, Sydney
2014 Group show of Photographs at Bradman Museum, Bowral
2013 Solo show at Becker Minty, Sydney
2012 Group show, Master of Creative Arts graduation exhibtion, Wollongong University
2012 Solo show at Becker Minty, Sydney
2011 Solo show at Becker Minty, Sydney
2010 Solo show at Becker Minty, Sydney
2009 Solo show at Becker Minty, Sydney
2009 Solo show at Goulburn Regional Gallery
2008 Solo show at Bousaada Winery, Mittagong
2008 Solo show at Becker Minty, Sydney
2006 Group show at Demeter Gallery, Sydney
2005 Group show at Demeter Gallery, Sydney
2005 Solo show of recent paintings at Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide
2004 Solo show of French Paintings at Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide
2004 Group show at Melbourne Affordable Art Fair represented by Gallery 1011, Melbourne
2003 – 2004 Solo show of recent work at Bar Sirocco, Sydney
2003 Finalist in Works on Paper Prize. Hazlehurst Gallery, Sydney
2002 Group show of photographic images. Images from Science, The Australian Museum, Sydney


The South Australian Museum.
Kerry Stokes
St. Luke's Hospital, Darlinghurst Sydney.
Macquarie Bank, Sydney.
Various private collections in Singapore, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide.

Awards and Prizes

2014 Finalist John Copes Portrait Prize BDAS
2013 Runner-up, Wingecaribee Art Prize BDAS
2012 Finalist John Copes Portrait Prize BDAS People's Choice award
2011 Finalist Premier's Plein Air Prize
2011 winner Goulburn Regional Art Prize
2003 Overall winner of the inaugural Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize at the South Australian Museum, Adelaide.

Other Professional Experience
2018 Summer residency in Ramatuelle, Southern France
2016 Road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and Palm Springs for "99 miles from L.A." exhibition
2015 Travel to Japan
2012 Artist trip to Central Australia with Leo Robba
2011 Celebrity portrait for Tulip Time Festival, Bowral (BDAS)
1996 – Present. Part time work as a digital technician and photographer at the Australian Museum, Sydney.
October 2003. Travel to France as part of the Waterhouse Prize to work on images for the 2004 exhibition at Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide.
2002 Exhibition project team for the development of 'Images from Science'. An exhibition staged at the Australian museum that promoted the artistic talents of museum staff in relation to their field of work.