James Pfaff (b. 1965, Glasgow, Scotland).
James Pfaff’s work is chiefly concerned with the documentation and reconstruction of his own life and universe, a subjective essay on the human condition. Drawing on his large photographic archive and personal journals he expresses himself principally through the medium of photography often later combining his images with the abstract form, paint, collage and the written word in contemporary response. The series Alex & Me (1998) can be considered as a point of departure.
Working since the 1980’s he relocated from Glasgow to Hamburg, Germany in 1994 where he lived and was influenced by Hamburg’s St. Pauli district and it's infamous Reeperbahn. It was during this period - in 1998 - that he would make the images that would come together to form his first artist's book Alex & Me/Danilo Montanari Editore (2016). 1998 would also see a first visit to Japan - a country that continues to inspire.
Moving to London in 2001 James continued to work and exhibit his own projects whilst working commercially. During this period, he was introduced to the artist Banksy and documented the artist at work in his then London studio and contributed two portraits for his book Wall and Piece/Random House (2005). One of the portraits was later acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in London. Author of many other portraits including Eric Clapton, George Best, Malcolm McLaren, Daphne Guinness and Sean Ono Lennon his other editorial clients include, amongst others, Vanity Fair, GQ, ELLE, The Wire and The Face. Rolling Stone and Playboy magazine have both featured his work. Advertising and design clients include Nike (Wieden+Kennedy), First Direct (JWT), the Groucho Club and the Michelberger Hotel.
In 2015 James returned to his native Scotland, to Glasgow's west end, where he now lives and works. Currently he is working towards his second artist book with the working title The Artist and Japan.
James is a mentor to both the New Photographers Guild (in association with Street Level Photoworks), Glasgow and The Cultural Enterprise Office, Glasgow.
Alex & Me*/Danilo Montanari Editore. 2016.
*Best Photobooks, Bitume Photofest selection, 2016.
*Best Photobook selection, Erik Kessels, Les Rencontres de la photographie, Arles 2016.
Harvard University, Fine Arts Library, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A. (Alex & Me book).
Fotomuseum Antwerpen (FOMU), Antwerp, Belgium. (Alex & Me book).
Aperture Foundation, New York, New York, U.S.A. (Alex & Me book).
National Portrait Gallery, London, England. (Banksy portrait).
UPCOMING: Alex & Me, Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, Scotland 2018.
Wonderland, Fabrica 584, London, England 2012.
Wonderland, Michelberger Hotel, Berlin, Germany 2011.
Japan, Curzon Soho Cinema Gallery, London, England 2008.
35 mm Photographs, Foyles Bookshop Gallery, London, England 2006.
FORMATO LIBeRo, The artist book from Joseph Beuys to Maurizio Cattelan, Museo d' arte Adria e Delta (MAAD), Adria, Italy 2016, (Alex & Me book).
Real and Imagined Lives, M Shed, Bristol, England 2012 - 2013, (Banksy portrait).
Alex & Me: A primer. Recyclart Art Center, Brussels, (Extra Fort). 2017.
Alex & Me: A primer. Center for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, (Talk See Photography), with curator Francesca Seravalle and Dr. Elizabeth Reeder. 2016.
Alex & Me: A primer. Cosmos, Les Rencontres de la photographie, Arles, with curator Francesca Seravalle. 2016.
Book launches/Book signings/Live painting.
Alex & Me. L'Ascenseur Végétal Bookshop at Galerie Bettina, Paris, with curator Francesca Seravalle. 2016.
Alex & Me. Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, with curator Francesca Seravalle and Dr. Elizabeth Reeder. 2016.
Alex & Me. Unseen Book Market, Danilo Montanari Editore, Unseen Photo Fair & Festival, Amsterdam. 2016.
Alex & Me. Cosmos, Tipi Bookshop, Les Rencontres de la photographie, Arles, with curator Francesca Seravalle. 2016.
You Wouldn't Like It Here. Frame Zero (Ria Torrente).
Alex & Me. La Repubblica (Italian language).
Alex & Me. PHASES MAGAZINE.
Alex & Me. NOTES Letters to photography (Dr. Elizabeth Reeder).
Alex & Me. Colin Pantall.
Alex & Me. Gabriela Cendoya-Bergareche (Spanish language).
All images and text copyright © 1997 - 2017 James Pfaff. All rights reserved.