James Mackinnon

James-Mackinnon-Portrait-13810.jpg"Recently, I met with the artist James Mackinnon (born 1968) whose streetscapes of the East End in general and London Fields in particular have captivated me for years. The seductive sense of atmosphere and magical sense of possibility in these pictures is matched by the breathtaking accomplishment of their painterly execution to powerful effect.

Remarkably, James is a third generation artist, with his uncle Blake and grandfather Hugh before him – which perhaps accounts for the classical nature of his technique even if his sensibility is undeniably contemporary.

We sat outside Christ Church, Spitalfields and chatted about the enduring allure of the East End for artists. I was sorry learn that James has been forced to leave due to a combination of the rising rents and lack of recognition for his work.

Like several others I have met while researching my book, he is an artist who is genuinely deserving of appreciation by a much wider audience. It is very disappointing that the rewards for such a prodigiously talented painter as James Mackinnon are so little that he can no longer afford to be in the East End, and the East End is lesser for it."

"The Gentle Author" Spitalfields Life

"Just as location, location, location is important when choosing a property, so it is at the heart of James Mackinnon’s artworks.  His interest in places and their buildings began as a young child.  James recalls vividly how as a boy of about eight he became obsessed with the Post Office Tower.   As he became older, it was the “vibes” of places that attracted him: an abandoned art deco Odeon cinema in Deptford and the mysterious, echoing Greenwich foot tunnel that leads under the Thames through to the Isle of Dogs.  These prompted a curiosity about mysterious places then unknown.  He was affected not only by the fabric of the buildings but also by the traces of those who had inhabited and left their impressions on them.  From the outset, “it was not just the architecture, rather an emotional thing."

"David Buckman" Author Dictionary of British artists since 1945