James Burke is an award-winning visual artist, creative director and entrepreneur from London, England. He is the founder of Acrylicize, a multidisciplinary creative studio working with a variety of mediums in order to create works that explores themes of identity and their relationship with the commercial world. While studying visual arts at the Manchester Metropolitan University, James Burke was interested in the accessibility of art. As part of his final dissertation project, he produced a body of works exploring the perception of contemporary and conceptual art, incorporating many figures of popular culture into the work of this series. He aspires to develop an art that can be appreciated by everyone and not only by a minority of amateurs. Focusing on the Pop Art tradition, James Burke seeks to destabilize the hermetic and elitist nature of art by using popular figures. By presenting known patterns and figures, James Burke aims not only to make his work accessible and relevant, but also to deconstruct preconceived ideas and prejudices related to art.
James Burke's philosophy has always been to challenge the artwork’s dependency on the gallery institution. He does so by focusing on accessibility and the desire to positively connect people with their environment. His work draws on themes associated with commodity, fusing a wide range of disciplines from fine art, graphic design, interior design and architecture.
Recognized for his graffiti tag, presenting it as a visual brand, he continues his exploration of art and the commercial world. He examines the symbiotic relationship between art, fashion, music and the identity of the artist as a brand of its own.
As a solo artist, he is best known for his MiniFigure series, garnering international acclaim for his wry observations about Western society, playing on our hopes, dreams and insecurities through everyday items, which in this particular case are LEGO minifigures.
James Burke also co-founded the creative hub Studio 7, an exhibition and event space in the heart of Shoreditch bringing creative communities together and celebrating artistic expressions of all kinds, from fine art to music. The project has since spawned as an art consultancy venture dedicated to linking artists with projects around the world.
James Burke writes for the Huffington Post on the subjects of art and design and is also a professional drummer having performed at iconic venues, including the Jazz Cafe, Ronnie Scott’s Bar and the London Palladium.