Inspired by the winemaking process, this series often incorporates layers of bold color to create dynamic paintings of structured chaos. The kinetic energy and heat produced when native yeasts convert the grape’s sugars into wine can be felt in the warmer hues of the piece, while the darker hues remind us of the cooling elements of a cold soak that bring out a wine’s rich color. The winemaker’s (and artist as well in this case) need to bring some control to the fermentation can be seen in the lines and geometric shapes added in an attempt to add structure to an otherwise chaotic process. Vineyard soil can also be used to add texture and help tie the piece back to a sense of place. Great art (as well as wine) is often the perfectly balanced juxtaposition of chaos and control.
James Frey began taking and developing his own photos at the age of 12. Three years later, he began working full-time as a newspaper photojournalist and by the age of sixteen became the youngest recipient to receive an award from the California newspaper association for his work. He continued to work as a photojournalist in order to pay his way through college. In his late twenties, Frey turned to painting and developed a passion for abstract expressionist works. His paintings of rich, deep hues and vibrant contrast create a powerful sense of color, shape, and energy. In order to create a greater tactile quality, at times he’ll incorporate vineyard cuttings, pinot noir skins and vineyard soil into a piece.
His paintings have been sold to collectors throughout North America. He also has work hanging in Great Britain, France, Sweden, Central America and Brazil.