James Mylne

I belong to both of these worlds.

My youth was quite urban. In the 90's, the south of London where I was born and grew up was a place with lots of graffiti and gang culture. At the same time, I went to expensive public boarding schools in the country from the age of 7. It was a strange mix of lives because I was surrounded by urban culture in London and by privileged lifestyle in the country.

I belong to both of these worlds and I still have friends from both of them... Which I think is actually something really positive for an artist, because I'm able to transcend and feel comfortable among them taking the best of both.

There is the same mix in my work. I used to separately produce one drawing of graffiti here, one of a horse there, a beautiful girl here and a building there. Over time, I began to combine them altogether. Since then, there's always been that kind of mix in my work and style.

Actually, it also shows in my technique. I draw using almost exclusively a ballpoint pen. I love it because it is a proper black (unlike pencil) and is, of course, permanent. It has a kind of graffiti type nature, it's bold, graphic, and very strong. But I also learned to use it to make subtle shading and very fine lines, which gives it an elegant nature. The best of both worlds!

James Mylne

Photo-realist ballpoint pen artist.

KM199X

Originally created in February 2014 in ballpoint pen and spray paint by James Mylne. The blue X stands for 199X, as in Nineteen Ninety X, or generation X. Which is when Kate Moss came to power and when James got into drawing properly. Exhibited since the 1st May at West Bank Gallery, London W11.

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