Citta Samtana Diptych 207, mixed media and resin on wooden panel, 45 x 60
1. Introvert or extrovert?
JV: Probably a little of both. When I am working, I don't like to talk or be disturbed by anyone, but I also like to meet interesting new people.
2. What is your favorite coffee table book?
JV: I have a book that highlights every single museum in the world. It really puts human creation into perspective.
On January 25, 2018, the Verbicky hand-painted car was revealed at Christie's Auction House in Beverly Hills.
James Verbicky was selected to create the first Karma Revero Art Car.
Did you know?
Image and text courtesy of James Verbicky©
3. You can have dinner with one person you have never met.
Who would you choose?
Gerhard Richter, Sieben Stehende Scheiben (Seven Standing Panes), 2002, High Museum of Art©
4. What inspires you?
JV: It sounds cliche, but travel. I don't think staying in one place is good for creativity. People need to get out, meet other people, experience different cultures. I travel around the world to collect new materials for my pieces, and it always fires me up.
JV: Gerhard Richter. He's a legend, and I have followed his work for decades. I would like to hear his early stories. Another interesting person would be Douglas Gordon. Judging from his work, he has an exceptional mind and it would be an interesting dinner.
Douglas Gordon, Monster Reborn, 1996/2002, National Galleries Scotland©
JV: Living in the grey Pacific northwest and growing up surfing icy water, I watch a lot of surf and punk movies set in a very sunny California. They glamorized the culture so much that I became obsessed with finding a way to move south. I ended up filling my 1963 Pontiac Catalina with rolled paintings and heading over the border, where I married a California girl and stayed.
5. You lived most of your early life in British Columbia. What prompted you to move to the United States and settle in California?
James in his studio, 2018, James Verbicky©
6. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?
JV: I used to go to a Catholic school with a lot of very aggressive nuns. Somehow I ended up thinking God named Jesus a swear word.
(but you should go follow him anyway)
7. Is social media good for art?
JV: No. Social media is the death of art. Everyone is spectating and feeding off the energy of others. It's a cannibalistic nightmare and I hate it so much that I pay people to do it for me.
8. Does originality exist?
JV: I think the art world is overcrowded with much of the same, everyone is splitting hairs and putting a little spin on the same thing. In my work, I search through old art books, art review mags from fifty, sixty years ago and see how artists now are simply regurgitating what has already been done, sometimes exactly, and it is amusing that it is just "new" to people now. But every once in a while, I think true discovery does occurs.
Untitled Girlfriend (Jerry's Girl), 2013, Richard Prince©
9. Do you collect anything?
JV: I have pieces by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Retna, & Shepard Fairey, but am always looking to add to my collection. My current favorite is the Prince piece, where he superimposed all of Seinfield's girlfriends into one generic face. My wife won't let me hang it in the house because it's too creepy.
(We agree with your wife.)
10. What is your favorite art opening you attended?
JV: Pacific Standard Time at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was a good show, and Douglas Gordon at the the Vancouver Art Museum. I don't go to as many openings as I should. I am usually too busy and the crowds of artists in wacky outfits trying to get attention annoy me.