Joseph James (born 1979) is an American-born artist residing in Finland.
He makes paper cuttings based on drawings. The artist draws on the reverse side of coloured, often painted, stiff paper and cuts out the forms with a scalpel. In fact, he cuts out everything that is unnecessary, leaving only the drawing. The resulting cobweb-like cut pieces are superimposed, with the lower ones visible through openings of the pieces on top of them and the wall on which the works are mounted becoming part of them.
These works can be based on observations and associations alike: a street scene, a photo seen in a newspaper, the idea of the structure of the human face, or how the act of drawing rapidly feels and how that feeling might look. Their language of form ranges from the almost figurative and recognizable to almost or completely abstract.
The artworks are of an unassuming material and physically light, but there is much to see in them. While requiring a great deal of work, their viewing is effortless and enjoyable.