Mac James Paintings, Drawings + Sculpture
Kaua`i, Hawai`i

Home Statement Biography Selected Works: 1984-2003 Selected Works: 2004-2012 Email

Curator Statement

April 4, 2008
Mac James: From Under a Rock

Mac James and I crawl out from underneath the same rock each day. Our inclination is to hide, but our intention is to seek, to understand being imperfect in an imperfect world. Itís not the human condition we study, but rather the condition humans have created. We have a common curiosity of the animals, plants, and space we all share.

I understand Mac, barely know him as a person, deeply know him as a human. He is what I hope for when I imagine someone we need to explain this life, and who we want to help the world. Mac is by no means a leader, but an example we can only hope to follow. Mac is an observer, who thinks and feels carefully, who portrays what he discovers as something we can recognize, so we call him an artist.

But I would more fittingly call Mac a scientist. Mac follows the process of someone steeped in science, observing the phenomena of his environment, questioning why, and hypothesizing how. Most artists deviate at this step and create what they feel to be true. This portrayal, however, wears the veil of self, of thought and philosophy. But Mac continues the process by investigating and analyzing until he can accurately reveal what he sees, with no artistic filter. The piece he creates is not so much art, but a model to help explain the implications of what we see. Mac never judges, accuses, or blames, as he know heís part of this imperfection. Rather, he dispassionately


reveals where we are, what weíre doing, and how itís affecting us, all of us. Mac does not offer answers, but asks his viewers a question. Asks them to observe, to see, to understand how we treat ourselves, others, and our place.

Viewing a body of Macís work is like entering an immense researcherís notebook. A sketchbook filled with illustrations and notations taken in the field in and around where Mac lives, both physically and mentally. I donít feel as if Iím being educated, but rather allowed a rare glimpse into the working mind of a scholar. Macís work is intelligent and timely, with a spontaneous eye aimed at recording whatís happening, now. He leaves it to the viewerís conscience to interpret the facts he reveals.

And this is the essential power of Macís work: his gentle and caring guidance calmly asks us to look, his concerned and unaccusing image allows us to see, and with this knowledge, he and we can truly help the world.

Mac will return to his rock, our rock, where I feel privileged to bump into him and his thoughts, and his images.

Curator Statement
L.J.C. (Linda) Shimoda
Kauai Museum
Art Gallery Director

© 2008 Mac James.