James Simbouras

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Mεμβράνη (memvráni), self portrait Mixed Media 90x60cm
Kouros Oil on Canvas 160 X 90 Cm
Shadows of Tahrir, Tahrir Square, Caro, Egypt, February 2011 B&W Film
Quick Facts
Colchester, Essex
Birth year
Lives in
Eksarchia, Athens, Greece
Works in
Eksarchia, Athens / London, UK
University of Bath, 2006, BA Biology
University of Kent, 2009, BA Fine Art
UCA Cantrerbury, 2011, BA Fine Art
Representing galleries
Gallery ONNIK
mixed-media, realism, modern, traditional, abstract, graffiti/street-art, figurative

''The Trace functions independently of what I here call the event, by which I could mean the memory of one. Rather, the trace is, for all purposes a letter who's sender is unimportant for the reading of the letter itself. Maybe it is these degrees of separation which give me my sense of depth as the viewer and inter-actor. Maybe through its transmutations the wish is born to follow this trace, or maybe I am simply it's holder. I see myself as the bearer of a question, I enact its forthcoming and set the stage. A decision whose answer I suspect to be predestined. What I anticipate and indeed desire is the constituents of this play to drop into place as I myself become a conveyor of what can be called the trace, a desire coming neither before nor after a sequential point of origin, simultaneously within and without a point in time.
An objectivity-subjectivity split leaves no ground for the artist, who works with what is left over from the two. And, through this relation, subjectivity's nature is revealed as being no more and no less than a system of incorporating the trace..''
                                                                               -James S.Simbouras, Bridges of light, 2009

James Simbouras is a visual artist and academic writer who began painting after being hospitalized after a severe attack of manic depression in his early twenties. He has since exhibited his work in the UK and Greece, taking part in both group and solo exhibitions. His main focus of work remains painting,
 which he approaches in an urgent, non-conforming and innovative manner. His paintings are emotive, dynamic,  intricate and engaging, while building upon a classically informed approach to form.

Despite the immediately recognizable nature of his work ''I don't allow technique to dictate what and how to paint, instead I try to approach each painting as a complete and independent system,  often having to reinvent myself along the way''. James draws much of his subject matter from photographic images he develops himself in his make-shift darkroom, incorporating may of the imperfections and ''lucky accidents'' that result into his working process.

James went on to study Fine Art at The University of Kent and UCA Canterbury, his main academic focus being psychoanalysis in the arts, where he studied such classics as Stokes, Segal, Iverson, Milner and Zizek. The works of J.Chasseguet-Smigrel and A.Ehrensweig in particular played an important role in the development of his aesthetic theory.

In 2011 he traveled to Egypt, where he partook in the events of the uprising in Cairo as a freelance photo-journalist, immersing himself in the crowds, armed only with an antique Yashica TL camera and a pocket full of film. ''It was a spontaneous decision'' he later stated ''and an unforgettable experience that was surreal, exciting, scary at times, but visually rewarding from the first moment I stepped out of the first plane into free Egypt. The old regime had abandoned power while I was in flight, that's what I call a good sense of timing''.

James currently  lives and works in the troubled and restless urban area of Eksarchia, Athens, since 2012, where spends his time writing and painting. He is currently preparing for his next exhibition.