Untitled (New York), 1991
James Brown first gained recognition within the East Village art scene of the 1980s, when his paintings were shown alongside those of other Downtown mainstays like Keith Haring and Donald Baechler (artworks by both are on view nearby). Though he initially employed a neo-primitivist style, his work increasingly manifested a mystical quality through imagery reminiscent of the natural world and celestial phenomena. In 1995 Brown moved to Oaxaca, Mexico, where he founded Carpe Diem Press in collaboration with the local printing studio Linotípográfica Quintas. Publishing formally inventive artists’ books in extremely small editions using traditional techniques, Carpe Diem has collaborated with artists including Joan Jonas, Jack Pierson, and Kiki Smith, in addition to producing Brown’s own projects.