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Arthur James

Arthur James’ biography reveals a source of inspiration that many artists only dream about. By his mid twenties he had developed a reputation as one of the most cultural figures in Sydney.

He moved to Australia from Armenia with his parents as a teenager in the mid- 1940s, and attended the National Art School, studying under many of the great painters of the day including John Coburn.

James two loves in life are Jazz and Art, and his life is a meld of them both. He ran a very successful Jazz Club through the late ‘50s to the end of the ‘60s – El Rocco at Kings Cross where musicians such as Graham Burrows, Judy Bailey and George Golla could be found playing and having jam sessions with their friends. In 1994 James was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his contribution to developing Australian jazz.

After that he went back to painting and drawing, and has been extremely successful, winning more than 50 prizes and exhibiting and selling work all over the world. Recently he was hung in the prestigious Dobell Drawing Exhibition, his picture being a skillful landscape.

His painting and drawings of jazz themes and nudes are quite famous. His use of line and tone unique to James, whether he is drawing in charcoal and pastel, or painting in acrylics and oils. James says “A figure will move through different stages and, as it does, allow your feelings and emotions to come through. If your drawings are to speak, they must come from the heart.”