Todd James a.k.a. REAS (New York, 1969) is an internationally recognized artist who began his career as a child painting in the New York City subway system. He is a co-creator of the seminal Street Market exhibition at Deitch Projects in New York, which was selected for the Venice Biennale in 2001. James’ work has also been shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, the Tate Museum in Liverpool, the Parco Gallery in Tokyo, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Collette in Paris, Lopez Galleria in Madrid, Lazarides Gallery in London.
After spending years as a graffiti artist in New York City, tagging subways under the moniker REAS, Todd James began painting Day-Glo silhouettes on canvas. Though he’s embraced acrylics and shifted from the street to the studio, he occasionally uses spray paint to give his graphic canvases an irreverent edge. James’s vibrant compositions take inspiration from mid-century abstraction and cartoons. The artist has exhibited widely in cities including New York, London, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, and Milan, and at institutions including the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Brooklyn Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. James has also worked on television shows including Crank Yankers and films including Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. He has created album art and graphics for musicians including the Beastie Boys, Mobb Deep, Red Man, Eminem, Kid Rock, and Iggy Pop.