James Vaulkhard is a Kenyan-born, London-Based visual artist specializing in classical realism and statutory arts. He holds a Bachelors Degree in History of Art from Leeds University and has trained and taught at Charles Cecil Studios and Studio Della Statua in Florence.
Over his four-year period in Florence, James gained a prominent reputation for his ability to embrace and manifest traditional techniques in both his portrait and sculpture work. In 2013, he was commissioned to participate in a bridge project between Italy and Kenya, developing the preliminary studies for the Kericho Cathedral in collaboration with local Kenyan sculptors.
A year later, he relocated to London and continued to develop his artistic style, moving towards a more experimental category of visual expression. His present work revisits and refracts his roots in portraiture, taking his subjects from popular culture, and crafting images that are at once naturalistic, representing a commitment to the rendering of optical reality but also incorporating a multi-media approach with elements of collage work at the forefront. He still continues to work with oil paint, having recently completed a portrait of Kenyan president Daniel Arap Moi, yet is also presently focused on his collage series which features the seven James Bond characters represented and given form by erotic, bondage images.
His un-authorized 2017 portrait of Donald Trump, applauded and embraced by the liberal community, created from cuttings of historical dictators and political tyrants. He's currently expanding the scope of this collection, continuing to take inspiration from a diversity of current cultural artefacts, as he applies this approach to a forthcoming series of new portraits.