James Drake is a remarkably versatile artist who is a superb draftsman, an expert sculptor specializing in welded-steel installations, and a penetrating photographer and video artist. In all of those media James Drake has deployed a consistent vocabulary of images relating to art history, weaponry, the fine line between savagery and civilization and life in the densely populated bilingual Juarez-El Paso border. James Drake’s work is allegorical, visceral, exquisitely crafted and visually seductive. As a draftsman his hand can be exacting or gestural. As a sculptor James Drake can render delicate, naturalistic detail. As a video artist and photographer he can generate a sense of intimacy as with his photographs of poor Mexican transvestite prostitutes.
James Drake has been honored with inclusion in both the Venice Biennale and the Whitney Biennial.