James Lilly is a Renton Washington artist creating intricately painted wall sculptures. These tromp l’oeil pieces utilize a modern laser cutter and traditional sculpting tools. Presented as striking contemporary reliquaries, they appear to be made of metal and stone, with precise details executed down to fabricated screw heads and torch cut steel plating. Beautifully painted and sculpted fish, whales and crabs occupy places of reverence in the center of industrial looking altars. Single words ask questions and define polarities with a thesis capstone word featured within the reliquary. Viewers are left to puzzle out the meanings of these disparate but beautifully combined compositions. Born in Seattle, Lilly grew up in Bellevue during the 1970's. In 1981 he ventured to Southern California and Pomona College where he received his BA in painting with distinction. Mentored by Karl Benjamin, one of the original op art/hard edge painters from the 1950's James then earned his MFA from the Claremont Graduate University in 1986. He’s participated in numerous gallery shows and throughout West Coast and the rest of the country. In 1989 James relocated back to Seattle where he has continued his career. He currently lives in Renton with his wife and three children.
312 S Washington St, Seattle, WA 98104
Fridays & Saturdays, 11 am to 4 pm First Thursdays 5 to 8 pm and by appointment