The M.A.D.Gallery is thrilled to present URBIS, a collection of six abstract cityscape sculptures by James that are downright cool. Looking from the outside in, it is easy to get lost in the details of these fantasy cities and contrive imaginative stories of a futuristic life along the streets of each vertical urban environment.
At the young age of 16, James McNabb found his creative niche during a high-school woodworking class, which guided his path to becoming an artist. In 2008 James graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts, where he learned the fundamentals of woodworking and furniture design. It was during these years he developed a passion for the craft. Simultaneously, James became fascinated by nature, trees, and wood as a material for making objects. Over time his objects began to evolve, becoming less utilitarian and more expressive – he found himself crossing over to the land of an artist. In 2012, he went on to earn a master’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he developed his signature body of work called “The City Series,” a collection of wood sculptures that explore the limitless possibilities of the urban landscape and our relationship to it.
Today James McNabb is best known for his one- of-a-kind skyline-inspired wood sculptures. His work combines traditional woodworking with experimental art to create new visions of the urban landscape.
Based in Philadelphia, his studio is adaptive to his needs and filled with both finished pieces and projects in the works. “I can see my new ideas come to life with old ideas in the background, and together they can inspire future ideas,” shares James. “It’s always a dynamic space, often moving and rearranging to make more room for a new project.”
Making art is an extremely effective method for coping with the ups and downs of life for James, and it brings him a sense of peace. Art has affected his life in both positive and negative ways. “When life is moving in chaotic ways, I revert back to my place of peace. It gives me a sense of purpose when I’m feeling lost,” he says.