James Mylne is a British contemporary artist renowned for his drawings in ballpoint pen. His revolutionary approach and technical abilities with the unorthodox art medium have earned Mylne global recognition where he is considered among the leaders of the genre and emulated by art students. The artist's photorealist likenesses of iconic celebrities attracted early media attention and continues to be one aspect of his output. The use of ballpoint pen as Mylne’s primary medium appealed to him due to the huge level of concentration required to complete each drawing, with works often taking hundreds of hours to complete.
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His resulting photorealistic artworks defy viewers’ beliefs – YouTube videos documenting his creative process have generated over a million views. Mylne's photorealistic artworks are so finely inked that they are often mistaken for photo-prints, even when viewed up-close. In addition to his ballpoint drawings Mylne creates mixed-media works adding spray paint, acrylic and permanent markers to his ballpoint originals. James attended foundation courses at Chelsea Art College and received his MA at Camberwell in 2006. Although he had original aspirations to be a painter James already begun giving ballpoint pens greater consideration as an art medium since 1996. The biro pen allowed James to create works of precision and distinct contrast, fuelling his desire to master ballpoint photorealism. In 2010 James participated in the competition ‘Bic Challenge’ sponsored by the pen company which earned him international media coverage for creating a replica of Vermeer’s ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’. In recent years James has been exploring shifts in his artwork by producing his own photographic references rather than relying on existing photos. Mylne continues to draw inspiration from longtime influences such as graffiti and street art, architecture and eastern spiritualism which is reflected in his ‘Desktop series’.
James has been commissioned by major corporations, private collectors and celebrities including a collaboration with Terry O’Neill to recreate one of the photographer’s iconic James Bond images as part of a high profile exhibition.
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