Born in McAllen Texas in 1965 and raised primarily in Kalamazoo, Michigan, James began drawing and painting at an early age due to an active imagination. Grounded to the dining room table for up to three hours a day, he quickly learned how to draw illustrating animals in nature. Nature has always been a part of him and his art and it continues to be even after working in a slaughter-house, acting, bar tending, meeting his lovely wife Kris, having two wonderful children Rose and Rocco, and living extensively in California, Texas, NYC, and Chicago. James Basile is still attracted to the sobering images that are derived from nature. Working primarily in oil, James has developed a unique style of painting that layers thick chunks of paint with powerful brush-strokes. He was educated at the University of Texas at Austin and resides in Chicago.


I paint because it makes me feel uplifted. About myself and the world in which I live. The goal for me is to capture the essence of an image, scene or thing. Not in a precise way, but more of an impression.

My approach to the work is intuitional as opposed to rational. I am mostly reinterpreting the visual I see. I feel it and filter it through my intuitional faculties and then assemble the strokes, color, and texture etc. to match that resulting image. Some rational elements do survive, but I steer hard from precision.

I believe my current work is aligned with what I hold valuable in regard to “essence” vs. “precision”, and “intuition” vs. “rational”. I’m going for beautiful images that contrast and are a break from the greyness of our everyday worlds. My hope is that the viewer is engaged. Engaged by something beautiful to behold, however briefly.

– James Basile