Statement and Exhibition Record


I have always rejected the notion that figurative art is dead or irrelevant.  One of the best ways to depict any abstract concept, idea, or emotion is to give it human characteristics or traits.  And to be honest, I simply enjoy portraying people in my art.  Human beings have enough intricacies and unique differences to provide inspiration for several hundred artists’ lifetimes.

Most of my art is left open to interpretation by the viewer since I rarely provide specific meanings behind what I do.  I would much rather create the images and then allow the viewer decide what my work means to them personally.  We all have our own personal histories and experiences anyhow, so it’s very easy to see how a good artwork could be deciphered in multiple ways.  With that said, there are times where I’m drawn to make a particular image without actually understanding it, only to discover my own personal relevance to the painting several months or years later. 

When it really comes down to it, my art is a dialog between me and anyone who happens to look at it.  I start the stories, and through their interpretations of my art, the viewers complete the stories. 

To paraphrase one of my biggest influences, Rene Magritte: “Life obliges me to do something, so I make art.”


Cautionary Tales
November 4 - December 30, 2016
Hilliard Gallery, Kansas City, MO

Once I began working on this series, it occurred to me very quickly that a completely new President would be elected during the time this collection of works would be hanging.  While I’m not necessarily a huge fan of politics, I’m quite interested in what might be termed “campaign science,” so the idea of creating paintings that might reflect our current events was intriguing to me.

I chose to avoid blatant commentary on specific events or issues, a decision that was reinforced on an almost daily basis as the campaigns have descended into an increasingly heated and divisive place.  So rather than creating images with recognizable political players or situations, I chose to focus more on general themes and ideas illustrated through anonymous characters.  

With all that said, this work is only slightly political.

This series became known to me as “Cautionary Tales” long after the ideas for most of these paintings came about.  The imagery seemed to reflect warnings of potential dangers, dread, or an unsettling loss of control.  The stories I tell are both personal and things I’ve witnessed, using imagery that “doesn’t seem quite right” or is slightly tongue in cheek.  There is rarely one single interpretation for my paintings; while it’s true that I normally create each image with a specific message in mind, I hope my viewers will interpret the works based on their own points of view.

HERE  is a nice review of the "Cautionary Tales" exhibit.



2016 - Cautionary Tales
            Hilliard Gallery, Kansas City, MO

2011 - the self-portrait project
            NOMO Art Center, Marceline, MO

2009 - paintings by jim norris
            Gallery of Art, Southeastern Community College, Burlington, IA

2008 - paintings by jim norris
            Charno Gallery – Kansas City Artists Coalition, Kansas City, MO

2006 - reflections, observations & untruths
            NOMO Arts Center, Marceline, MO


2015 - The Soul Selfie
            Hilliard Gallery, Kansas City, MO

2015 - The Human Form Show
            Hilliard Gallery, Kansas City, MO

2011 - New Art by the Trenton Artists Guild
            Grundy County Museum, Trenton, MO

2007 - The Art of Sacrifice
            Altered Esthetics Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

2007 - River Market Regional Exhibition
            Kansas City Artists Coalition, Kansas City, MO

2006 - Raise Your Voice!
            University of Central Missouri Art Center Gallery, Warrensburg, MO

2006 - Re:Members Exhibit
            Kansas City Artists Coalition, Kansas City, MO

Hilliard Gallery, Kansas City, MO


No comments:

Post a Comment