My heroes have always been the pioneers, the inventors – Edison, Bell, the Wright Brothers – in the art world, the innovators – Calder, Picasso, Tinguely. The great Leonardo DaVinci, who did it all - painter, sculptor, scientist, engineer, and architect –was who I wanted to be when I grew up.
About James Hannaham
After getting a degree in art, I became a writer, and then merged the two by becoming a conceptual artist. First I began writing wall text for artworks that were impossible to fabricate, and then I began generally using the gallery situation as an excuse to explore what I feel is the real substance of my work—rhetoric. Specifically, the familiar rhetoric of institutions like museums, galleries and artist's statements, a rhetoric that builds legitimacy and interest around works of art in ways that have become achingly familiar and can be a source of frustration for artists, for whom they may represent a distraction from the work itself. Argument, it turns out, can be an art form, an elegant sleight-of-hand whose importance to the way that audiences receive and appreciate culture has nearly surpassed other sorts of questions about aesthetics, politics, and art history.