james kuhn, face explorer.

way back when dinosaurs still roamed the planet, i went to the school of the art institute of chicago. attending the school with me were some very talented people indeed. lawrence steele, clothing designer; jeanne dunning, conceptual artist; and james kuhn, face explorer.

james was a painting major. he was always making interesting things; painting, but in other formats, like hand puppets (two of which i own and treasure.) he wasn’t a slave to the canvas. i even remember the time he was tattooed with the image of one of his paintings.

fast forward to NOW. james has painted since graduating, now he is using his head and torso as canvas. for almost a year now, he has been painting himself daily and documenting the results. his work has made the the internet rounds, with publications in england and portugal picking up his story. he’s published books, posters and calendars of his face paintings. james is not your garden variety painter.

someone on the left lower coast (hollyweird) found his work telly-worthy. soon james will appear on “america’s got talent.” instead of using his own face, he will be painting on relatives. i’m curious to see what he can do, because the work thus far has been done using a mirror, da vinci style. he’s pushed the face painting quite far on his own face, so it will be exciting to see what happens on national television.

as you can see from the photos below, his work spans quite a range. i find it interesting to see both his interpretation of something and how he incorporates his own facial features into the mix. mostly he uses his eyes, but he did do a painting of a dog (not pictured). use your imagination. 

good luck to james and i’ll post results here!

the flickr foto set:


buy his book or other related objets, dammit!!!




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