Biography & Cirriculum Vitae

James Mathers was born November 13, 1964 in Los Angeles, California. Graduated in ‘81 from the Center For Enriched Studies in Los Angeles.

1981  Painting
Painting and exhibiting work in Los Angeles, then moving to New York to attend the New York Art Students League.  By the age of 17, supporting himself as a construction worker in Midtown Manhattan, and...

1983  Painting
...pursuing a career in the art scene.  He soon came to the attention of Andy Warhol, who’s organization exhibited his work in a one-man show in 1983, Shortly he was exhibiting on both coasts.

1984  Painting
Various dealers and agents exhibit his work in Europe, and James maintained particularly long and prodigious relationships with Turske and Turske in Zurich, Switzerland, and Studio Marconi in Milan, Italy.

1985  Painting
So began James’ nomadic life in the Arts in the 80’s and early 90’s, moving from New York to Paris, taking his work from figural narrative to obsessive biological/transcendentalist themes.

1986  Painting, Events, Agitation
Then back to Los Angeles, where he designed and organized several nightclubs, involving himself with the anarchist performance troupe, Lab Rats, PANIC! with other underground luminaries including Norton Wisdom, Zam, Lonnie Sterling, and Stars...

1987  Video, Performance, Acting
Beginning his first experiments with video, film and space, and becoming nocturnal in the process.  In 1987 he moved to Italy to work on a number of exhibitions in Zurich and Milan.  It was during this period that he appeared opposite Bridget Fonda in the  art film ARIA.  In the spring and summer of ‘87 James lived and worked in almost total isolation in County Wicklow, Ireland, to recuperate from a physically and emotionally demanding lifestyle.  This time and place was to deeply affect his art and his life.

1988-89  Sculpture, Research, Activism
Frantic migration, back and forth between New York, Milan, Los Angeles and Mexico City...

1990  Sculpture
Relocating for a year in Indonesia to begin a completely new body of work involving ambitious sculpture installations, selling a great deal of the work to private collectors in the United Kingdom.  During this time, James did work for Indonesian pop star Prince Jhodi, creating concept art and storyboards for his "Orangutan" music video designed to raise awareness about the plight endangered status of orangutans in Borneo.

1991  Painting and Set Design
The art market floundering, James found himself in New Orleans doing scenic work for the feature film ZANDALEE, starring Nicolas Cage, Judge Reinhold, and Joe Pantoliano.  Cage plays an eccentric painter in the film, and James created more than 30 paintings that are featured on screen.

1992  Painting, Writing, Acting, Storyboard, Documentary
James heads back to Los Angeles to construct a studio in Malibu, painting and writing, producing and acting in such films as ROADKILL, (for which he also wrote the screenplay)  I DREAMT I WAS A BUTTERFLY (AFI), and supporting himself as a production designer and storyboard artist for HKM on music videos for artists such as Meatloaf, Tesla and Guns N’Roses (Don’t Cry, Live And Let Die), and TV commercials for AT&T and Murphy's Irish Stout (directed by The Brothers Quay).

1993-94  Writing, Deck-hand, Development
James leaves the Malibu studio, migrating east, first to New York where he wrote the feature screenplay MARLOWE.  Then on to Paris, Normandy and London, finally finding employment on a Scandinavian charter vessel - BARINNIA. Pulling chain in the Mediterranean between Venice, Rhodes and Southern Turkey, provided him with an excellent opportunity to experience the shell of Minoan and Hellenic civilization, fulfilling a long-cherished interest in the Sufi history of Anatolian Turkey.  Settling for a few months in Venice, Italy, James embarked on an attempt to drum up interest in several film projects, such as Deadbeats and Hooligans, at the Venice film festival.

1995  Writing - Sculpture- Development
James finally decided he would produce his screenplay HOOLIGANS himself.  Moving back to Dublin, while trying to raise funding for the film, he worked with EU funded Irish Arts programs as a staff member and sometimes lecturer, as well as working in a bell foundry, fabricating large-scale bronze bells...

1996-97  Writing, Sculpture, Activism, Education
...and other objects that he exhibited in the Von Gosseln Gallery in 1997, as well as writing and promoting his screenplays.  With his Irish confederates, he founded the glorious, but short-lived Dublin anarchist bookstore, The Garden Of Delight, in an effort to provoke an arts/intellectual underground.  The “Garden” provided a venue for a lecture series that attracted students, “crusty” eco-activists and professors from Trinity College, who attended workshops directed by Druids, Yogis, Buddhist Nuns, anarchist leaders and authors such as Sufi scholar Hakim Bey, anarchist historian Peter Lamborne Wilson, dystopian philosopher Mike Davis and various members of the Autonomedia Organization - Inspiring heavily attended public rituals and political actions such as sending Trinity students with backpacks full of medicine and video equipment to support the Zapatista rebels in Chiapas.  Or, outing the genocidal ex-Prime Minister of Mexico Carlos Salinas, who is still avoiding extradition for massive embezzlement and human rights violations, residing with his billions in Ireland.  These actions resulted in the destruction of the front of the bookstore by Gardai and Mexican Secret Service Agents. (This may sound like far fetched, but it’s not. It really happened.)

1998  Writing, Education
The boarded up and darkened bookshop became the perfect vehicle for showing obscure movies.  So began the Garden of Delight Film Forum.  Eventually, after much ado, HOOLIGANS went into production with Dutch Production Company MOVIE MASTERS. James, in need of direct sunlight, moved back to his Malibu studio in Southern California in time to see the finished film (now titled CRUSHPROOF) screened at AFM in Santa Monica.

1999 Writing
Living in Malibu, California, writing under contract for JERSEY FILMS and UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, developing his original screenplay MOUCHE SUPER, working closely with producers Stacey Sher and Lisa Lyon.  CRUSHPROOF received ovations at the Venice Film Festival, and James continues his collaboration with Movie Masters on further projects.

2000 Directing
Wrote and directed KING OF THE KORNER (aka KING OF L.A.), starring Saul Williams, Ana Ortiz, Leo Fitzpatrick, and Hannes Jaenecke.  Produced by Kees Kasander and shot entirely in the Chinatown district of downtown Los Angeles, the hyper-real anti-capitalist drama is set among the hunter-gatherers who wash car windows in the shadow of the Pasadena freeway.  While finishing post-production on King in Amsterdam, James helped the Kasander Film Company develop cinematic iconoclast Alejandro Jodorowsky's graphic novel HOLY MOTHER into a feature film screenplay.

2001 More Writing
James completes a wide array of original screenplays: the Goddess-worshipping science-fiction film MAYFLY, a tale of a disillusioned Hare Krishna rediscovering his faith in a mid-western meth lab in SPEED FACTORY, the Irish ghost love story SLAPPER, and the spiritual comedy UNCLE THEO with life-long friend Billy Zane.

2002 - 2005 Writing, Painting, Travelling
James found himself the leader and impresario of the Rodeo Grounds Artists Collective in Lower Topanga Canyon in Malibu, California, teaching and encouraging the community in painting, sculpture, theater, and music performance.  Famous events and shows at the Rodeo Grounds include "The Never Ending Costume Party", "The Bad Babysitter Project", and "Timeship Medusa".  Commissioned to write the screenplay ROUGH FOOTAGE for a French company, FILM FABRIK, in Nice. Painted a body of new works on a subject that is yet to be discovered. Wrote and illustrated the graphic novel “The Children’s Guide to Astral Projection”, and co-founded the Malibu publishing company BRASS TACKS PRESS with Pablo Capra & Richard McDowell.

Also wrote a feature film script based on the book, also titled THE CHILDREN'S GUIDE TO ASTRAL PROJECTION.  Continuing his metaphysical and occult studies, James co-founded the IZO Foundation Religion with L.A. punk music legend Geza X and Tim Martin.  IZO is a religion based on research, rather than dogma.  501c3 status as a non-profit religious institution from the U.S. Government is currently pending.

2005 - 2006
James was heavily involved in community activism to save the Rodeo Grounds from eminent domain eviction by Los Angeles County.  Sadly, the community was kicked out and the land was given to the State Park System, which quickly went bankrupt.  The ordeal was the subject of a documentary film titled MALIBU SONG, which features numerous interviews with James.

2006 - Present
Living in his native Topanga Canyon, California, James continues to paint, exhibit work in L.A. galleries, promote themed parties and live events, and develop his screenplays.

Created album art for the independently produced Karmakaze, from the L.A.-based band New World Revolution.

Co-founded the Psycho-Iridescent Space/Time Agency (PS/TA) in Los Angeles with New World Revolution front man and close friend Herwig Maurer.

Co-founded The Institute For Acausal Studies in Los Angeles.

Director of Arts Programming for an organization that's seeking to develop the old Rodeo Grounds.  The Lower Topanga Canyon Eco-Arts Park : "A community project to redevelop Lower Topanga Canyon into an Eco-Arts park through an inclusive, community-driven, collaborative process that fosters inquiry, discovery, and collective planning."

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