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James Charles

James Charles is a diverse mixed-media artist working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1963 and raised in San Diego, California, he majored in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1990, also earning the prestigious Sobel Memorial Scholarship in Printmaking.

Post-education, while residing in Los Angeles, he worked as a studio assistant to renowned artist, Lita Albuquerque, eventually assisting in helping to hang her retrospective show at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in 1990.

In the early 1990’s, working commercially as a sculptor, he co-founded Gentle Giant Studios, creating toy prototypes for Disney, Mattel, Hasbro, and many other toy industry leaders.

In 2003, while refocusing his talents back towards the creation of his own fine artwork, he began studying, and continues to practice, the ancient art of tattooing.

One of the founding members of the Oyster Pirate Collaborative Workshop in 2007 he now works and resides in Berkeley, CA. He presently exhibits work in galleries and museums across the country, as well as internationally.