Jimmy James Kouratoras
Jimmy James Kouratoras has always worked with his hands. A descendant from a long line of artisans, his artwork weaves together his Cretan and Māori heritage while simultaneously inspired by surfing and skateboard culture of the 1980s. He spent two decades working in the film industry and is a trained scenic artist having worked on many fantasy films ,TV series and freelancing on various international TV commercials.
During his first ten years Jimmy had the opportunity to work with many highly experienced senior artists in different allowing him to learn to paint from references, render a multitude of textures, sculpt as well as manage large scale artistic projects. Creating sets and collaborating with construction crews became second nature resulting in the next decade of his career a renewed emphasis on developing innovative ways of working with paints and multimedia – and connecting with international artists. However, the desire to tell his own stories saw Jimmy leave the film world behind and venture into the fine arts world in 2010. Since then, Jimmy’s sole focus has been to focus the experience of his past career into a widening storytelling palate that reflects his strong Indigenous connection and also the inherent knowledge of his ancestors to be brought to life through his artworks.
Today, Jimmy’s paintings can be seen to be inspired by his youthful heroes including Dali and Monet, the magic of light, the convergence of the dream and spirit world and of course, his own very personal stories. Reflecting upon his trajectory, Jimmy is firm in iterating that his art is about empowering and enabling indigenous youth to connect to their higher selves. He does this by creating funky modern contemporary works of art that aim to inspire youth to express their full potential and is committed to supporting and facilitating these journeys.
He has had solo exhibitions in Auckland, Los Angeles, New York, Brisbane, Melbourne and Queenstown. Winner of the People’s Choice Award at the Brisbane Contemporary Art Prize (2016) and shortlisted for the National Contemporary Art Award (2017). He has given many public talks collaborating with Auckland Museum, SPLICE and British Council and has supported different charities such as Cerebral Palsy and the New Zealand Dance Company’s Youth programme. He has been shortlisted for the Cleveland National Art Award (2019) represented New Zealand at the Honolulu Biennial and will be travelling to the Beijing Biennial later this year.
• 2018 – Mapura Studios Charity Art Auction – Auckland, New Zealand (upcoming)
• 2018 – Solo Exhibition: Our Meeting Place – Artbay Gallery – Queenstown, New Zealand.
• 2017 – Solo Exhibition: The Classics – International collaboration with New York Playwright Glory Kadigan – Auckland, New Zealand.
• 2016 – COLOURS group show – Auckland, New Zealand.
• 2016 – Brisbane Contemporary Art prize – Judith wright gallery of Contemporary Art – Brisbane, Australia. Winner: People’s Choice Award
• 2016 – Solo Exhibition: The Big Picture – Allpress Gallery – Auckland, New Zealand.
• 2016 – Group Exhibition of Contemporary Māori Artists: Tangatawhenua – Corbans Estate – Auckland, New Zealand.
• 2016 – Michael Fowler Center exhibition presenting work to the European Union – Wellington, New Zealand.
• 2015 – GOMA Asia Pacific Triennial Queensland Australia, Presenting work with Savage Klub Exhibition.
• 2015 – Pacific Exhibition – Ora Gallery –Manhattan, USA.
• 2015 – International Group Show – Agora Gallery – Manhattan, USA.
• 2014 – Solo Exhibition: Kaitiaki – Nathan Club Britomart – Auckland,New Zealand.
• 2014 – Solo Exhibition: Unorthodox – Allpress Gallery – Melbourne, Australia.
• 2014 – Solo Exhibition: Introducing Paintings & Prints – Allpress Gallery – Auckland, New Zealand.
• 2013 – Solo Exhibition: Pou Exhibition – Saatchi and Saatchi – Auckland, New Zealand.
• 2012 – PouPou Skate Art – Cross St Gallery – Auckland, New Zealand.