James Cullinane, Bush Baby, 2015, Ink on paper, 39″ x 39″

This week, we welcome artist James Cullinane, a visual artist and poet based in Jackson Heights. Cullinane received his BFA from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Science in 1979. His work has been exhibited locally and nationally. In 2001 he was a resident at the Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI, a participant in the 2002 Artists in the Marketplace 22, Emerging Artist Program, at The Bronx Museum and in 2004 he was a resident at the Spaces World Artist Program in Cleveland, OH. He lives and maintains his studio in New York City.

James Cullinane, Storm Tossed Banner, 2016, Ink and acrylic on paper on two wood panels, 32″ x 56″

Cullinane is interested in pattern as a product of process. In his works, “geometry and pattern are built up patiently until the edifice begins to topple…until process is built on top of process without concern for appearance of the thing. Then and only then after lying on wait for weeks or months, can you hope to escape down the labyrinthine path that geometry has created. A painting may begin to form if it’s not wrecked or compromised along the way.”

James Cullinane, Border, 2017, Ink and acrylic on panel, 4 panels 24″ x 48″

Cullinane is also the author of “Found a Little Jawbone,” a chapbook of poetry published in 2015 by soundBarn press ( http://soundbarn.blogspot.com/ )

Dies Irae

The passengerless jets descend toward the stricken city in slow arcs through the cloudless

cerulean sky.

Does the silent plague take 200 more today?

Do souls fly?

Does the Verdi I play

from the 8th floor drift toward

the reefer trailers outside Elmhurst Hospital

stacked with corpses gone viral?

Here in immigrant working class Queens

where even the handrail of the 7 train

is a death grip.

Kyrie Eleison.

Protect my child

for death is everywhere as

cardinals sing full throated

and magnolias bloom lushly

through the pestilent hush.

This is the empty Spring of a wounded Earth

as dolphins cavort in Venetian canals

now that the gondolas are gone.

This is the Spring of surgical masks

and daffodils and washing our hands

of all of it.

(NYC March 2020)


See more of his work on his Instagram page and website.

Nitin is a visual designer, gallery artist, and community arts activist. Past desk-oriented posts include: PBS, Digitas, K12, Inc., Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and Sesame Workshop International....

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