James Hodgson

One of my first teenager jobs was working in a gallery for a local watercolour artist. It seems that it has always been my calling to be involved with art but it has taken a long time to realize this. A little while back I walked out from a lecture given by Clive Kellner on Collecting. I remember walking out of that lecture seeing everything with a new eye: there was art all around me, everything was art, I felt so enlightened. Little did I realize at that time that I would go from being a private collector to a Curator at a Gallery. It is a privilege to be involved with all the different artists who are developing their legacy and will be here long after we are gone.

Gallery Director Jennifer Reynolds  chats to guest curator James Hodgson.

How do you describe your personal style?

I have a great interest in texture and color with a contemporary twist.
What do you collect?

I have numerous modern pieces in my home that I collect for a recreational purpose.

What can’t you live without?
Art, wine, good food and friends to share it all with.
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

Leonardo’s  “Mona Lisa”.  When I was ten years old my parents asked me what I would like for a gift for Christmas. I very earnestly told them I wanted a copy of the Mona Lisa.  Well, there was this really big narrow box under the tree that year and it was heavy, I was very excited. This soon turned to great disappointment when I opened the box to find a sparkling new self-assemble bicycle. My parents did not take me seriously! I can laugh about it now.

Which artist, living or dead would you most like to meet?
Leonardo Da Vinci.

What was the first piece of art you purchased and do you still have it?

It was a moonlight scene done on a small ceramic plate. It was from Russia, artist unknown. I was 16 years old when I purchased it. I gave it away to dear friends in Toronto 16 years later when I moved back to South Africa from there.

What is the favorite piece of art that you own?
“Rabbit” by Glen Cox.  It beckons me to my lost childhood.

What does the art in your home say about you?
According to some that I have unusual taste. Each piece figuratively spoke to me in a clear resounding voice, so I had to buy them!
What was the last museum / gallery you visited?

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.  I really enjoyed Vermeer’s work.
What’s next on your list?

The Uffizi in Florence, Italy.

If you could paint | draw | sculpt | photograph | craft | what skill would you most like to possess?

I would love to paint on canvas.

You recently became the curator at ART@Constantia  Gallery - how does art inspire you, your life, and your job?

Art adds so much enjoyment to my life and my work. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by such creativity and beauty at home and at work.  This is expressed well in my favourite quote by Albert Einstein, "The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious - the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art."
If you could have any piece of art on StateoftheArt.co.za, regardless of price or size, what would it be and why?

It would be a Janet Botes from her Nuances Series, the piece entitled “In Die Vertes Van Gister”. My mother was from the Karoo and this makes me think of her, she died at a young age and I miss her.

I have chosen a collection of works that I believe to have relevance either culturally or politically. I also lean towards work that I find to be contemporary with an edge from or difference to the norm. I also personally think these pieces are awesome.

  • Nuances: In Die Vertes Van Gister - Limited edition print by Janet Botes
    Nuances: In Die Vertes Van Gister
    Limited edition print / 77 x 42 cm