Forget White Cubes and Everything You Know About the Art World James Picard’s Global Art Tour is a Radical, Stunning Departure from Tradition

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And His Vision Is Exactly What We Need

In the contemporary art world, white cubes and spare spaces abound, providing a blanched background for the artwork. Forget about all that. Canadian artist James Picard’s new series is a radical, stunning departure from that tradition. That work will debut in Picard’s global art tour, which kicks off in his hometown, Vancouver.

James Picard

The tour takes a two ­pronged approach, featuring exhibitions of both Picard’s new work, The Dark and The Wounded, and a custom­ curated retrospective, called State of the Art.

Downtown Vancouver’s Terminal City Club will host the first exclusive, one ­night­ only State of the Art exhibition on April 2 at 6:00 pm. A selection of the paintings on display will be available for sale, and visitors will get a chance to meet the artist in person.

State of the Art will include works from every phase of his renowned 40 year career. It showcases his extraordinary range and definitive style. More than 125 works by Picard will be on display, including some pieces from his recent series, The Dark and the Wounded.

Ten percent of all art sales from this event will be donated to local Vancouver charity, the CKNW Orphans’ Fund. The Fund is dedicated to promoting the health and welfare of physically and mentally challenged and disadvantaged children in BC communities.

After Vancouver, the tour will stop at Alcatraz for a unique showing of The Dark and The Wounded.

The Dark and The Wounded is an experiential art show traveling to some of the world’s most troubled places, like abandoned hospitals, dilapidated asylums and empty prisons. The paintings are accompanied by an atmospheric musical soundscape by Jeff Danna. The Dark and The Wounded is a sensitive, gripping experience, but it’s not for the faint of heart ­ and that’s exactly how Picard wants it.
Art collectors and other interested parties should email for more information, including pricing details and requests for private viewings. For information about press access please, email

For reservations to the State of the Art Vancouver exhibition, please visit today. Tickets will go on sale March 1, 2015. Due to space limitations, it’s unlikely that all interested parties will be able to attend, so the organizers recommend that you request tickets well in advance.

James Picard is a world­ renowned painter and humanitarian, drawing critical acclaim for his unique ability to excel in a range of artistic styles. Picard, 51, lives and works in Vancouver and Los Angeles.


Renowned Artist James Picard to Unveil New Works at “State of the Art” Exhibition

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Proceeds to Benefit Local Charity, CKNW Orphans’ Fund

VANCOUVER, BC – Renowned artist James Picard will unveil a profound new direction in his upcoming show, “State of the Art,” at the Terminal City Club in downtown Vancouver on April 2, 2015. The exhibition will include works from every phase of his renowned 40-year career. It showcases his immense talent as a painter, letting viewers see first-hand his extraordinary range and definitive style.

The “State of the Art” exhibition will include more than 125 works by Picard. This exhibition will also introduce pieces from his newest series, The Dark and The Wounded, which is currently on tour in North America.

The “State of the Art” exhibition is an exclusive, one-night-only event that will take place on April 2nd, 7:00pm at The Terminal City Club at 837 West Hastings Street in Downtown Vancouver. A selection of the paintings on display will be available for sale, and visitors will get a chance to meet the artist in person.

Ten percent of all art sales from this event will be donated to local Vancouver charity, the CKNW Orphans’ Fund. The Fund is dedicated to promoting the health and welfare of physically, mentally challenged and disadvantaged children in BC communities

Art collectors and other interested parties should email for more information, including pricing details and requests for private viewings. For press access please email

For reservations to the “State of the Art” exhibition, please visit today. Tickets will go on sale February 1, 2015. Due to space limitations, it’s unlikely that all interested parties will be able to attend, so the organizers recommend that you request tickets well in advance.

James Picard is a world-renowned painter, drawing critical acclaim for his unique ability to excel in a range of artistic styles. Picard, 51, lives and works in Vancouver and Los Angeles.

Vancouver artist’s first hometown show in nearly a decade!

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by Shawn Conner in Events on November 27, 2013

A newly opened gallery that prides itself on its eclecticism is a natural home to The Many Faces of James Picard.

The first gallery exhibition in the artist’s hometown in nearly a decade, The Many Faces of James Picard presents this multi-faceted artist’s work in his two favourite media, painting and sculpture.

Picard has exhibited extensively in over one hundred art shows throughout North America and Europe, and his work, prized by an ever growing number of collectors, can be seen in both public and private collections widely across the world.

According to Picard, the show will include a wide variety of his work.

“The show is exhibiting my diverse range as an artist,” he told us. “Pencil drawings, inks, watercolour, acrylic and oils. The concept is basically not only showing my ability to work in so many various mediums but also my prolific output in these mediums as well. I average between 800-1200 paintings a year and between 1000-1500 drawings a year.”

One of the artist’s recent projects is The Dark and Wounded, a series of one-off exhibitions and an in-progress documentary. Picard says the paintings in the series “are reflective of some of the dark and wounded times in human history as well as from my own life experience,” according to the artist’s statement on his website. “I wanted to touch on the fears we have by looking inward. Working on this series has helped me to heal. It is my hope it does the same for you.”

Picard has chosen to show The Dark and Wounded work at non-gallery locations, usually at abandoned asylums or prisons, and for only one day. In Vancouver, The Dark and Wounded was shown at the now defunct Riverview Psychiatric Hospital in October. Plans for the show include a stop at Alcatraz.

The Many Faces of James Picard runs from Nov. 30 – Jan. 15 2014 at the Fazakas Gallery (145 W. 6th Ave.). The opening reception is Nov. 30, from 1 – 5 p.m. The artist will be present, and will give a talk at 2:30 about his work.

Fundraiser for The Dark and The Wounded Exhibitions and Documentary Film

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Fundraiser for The Dark and The Wounded Exhibitions and Documentary Film

Please be part of funding the continuation of this project that is helping people to heal through art!

Saturday November 9, 2013 – 8pm to 11pm
at VIVO Media Arts Centre at 1965 Main St. Vancouver

Fundraiser will include the premiere screening of the documentary trailer; live cello music; original art; limited edition t-shirts for sale, and more. If you’d like a drink, you can buy one at the bar.

Tickets are $30.00 each.

With each ticket purchased, you also receive an original Picard lithograph (valued at $500.00)

Please contact James Picard at 778 882 9885 or at to purchase your tickets. Credit cards accepted.

Thank you for your support.

The Dark and Wounded Exhibition Thoughts

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By John McGie

Sometimes it is the whisper amongst the screams that carries the message.
Within the Dark and Wounded exhibition artist James Picard has encapsulated art as a conduit that bears witness to the unsaid, the unheard and the unwanted.

It invites us to look at the horrors held within the folds of murky memories of not just others but also ourselves.

The art inhabits the space (Riverview Hospital – an abandoned mental institution) with a familiarity and intimacy usually reserved for long lost friends. Music laments through the hallways serenading decades of decay. It all comes together as one great canvas under the stroke of the artist’s brush.
For some the canvas is a haunted house, for some a sanctuary, for some a memorial and for others a torture chamber.

At its best it overwhelms without making you numb as you to look long into the faces of pain and see yourself – as an inactive participant and an addle onlooker .

It asks not for empathetic complacency but rather a non-intellectualized humanity. The raw, visceral ugly that binds us all together on the deepest, darkest levels of our shadowy emotions.
It is guttural. It is unapologetic. It is honouring.
It is art as an active ingredient – for change, for healing, for evolution.
It is a peek behind the curtain that one day, I hope, will be fully opened.

Fazakas Gallery

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I’m happy to announce that as of October 2013, my work will be featured in the Fazakas Gallery. LaTiesha Fazakas has a keen eye for cutting edge art. She especially appreciates the range of styles and mediums I work with. The Fazakas Gallery will feature pieces of mine that range from beautiful serene landscapes and realistic portraits in oils to more emotionally charged portraits in either paint, watercolour, ink, or pencil.

The Fazakas Gallery is located at 145 West 6th Ave in Vancouver.

Call 604 876 2739 for more information.

Check out their website at

Stay tuned for upcoming exhibitions and collaborative projects with the Fazakas Gallery!

James Picard: The Dark and the Wounded

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by Seehorse Creative Media

James Picard’s exhibit ‘The Dark and the Wounded’, held at the abandoned ‘Riverview Psychiatric Hospital’, was  more than an art show. It was a transformative event. I’ve spent decades pondering what art is, what it could be, and finally, what it should be. German Post-War conceptual artist Joseph Bueys said, and I paraphrase, that ‘art should be a real means to go in and transform the structure of society.’ Bueys believed art could do this, and so do I…although I also believe that it very rarely does. The vast majority of art does not contain the relevant ingredients to ‘transform society’, and the art that does is usually cloistered away in National Galleries that the public dares not enter, written about in difficult essays published in magazines the public does not read, or are simply stashed away in some unknown artist’s studio into oblivion. ‘The Dark and the Wounded’ exhibit is one of those rare examples of everything coming together to produce an art exhibit that can contribute something to help ‘transform society.’

It starts with the paintings. James has always had a stunning ability to portray emotional and psychological pain manifested in disfigured faces and bodies. He identifies with the wounds he insists we all carry inside of us. He paints the afflicted, as well as the dark souls who dole out the suffering. By having his exhibit at the Riverview Psychiatric Hospital he gives these characters a context that adds to their existence. Instead of being dead artifacts on a clean white exhibition wall, they are living characters brought back to life in the kind of shadowy conditions that created them, and in which atrocities were committed. There are Nazi soldiers, Catholic Priests, school children, and dark creatures. Inner rage and torment is expressed in grotesque faces and figures. And you are in that space bearing witness. You are walking in haunted hallways, looking into caged ‘stalls’ where the patients were kept, and occasionally finding a lit painting of a suffering soul staring back at you. All this to the haunting soundtrack by Jeff Danna, which permeates and echoes through the halls. At some point you begin to identify with the victims confronting you. Your sympathy grows to empathy, and you realize you too are afflicted. You are an immediate witness. Picard’s paintings in the environment they are presented, remove the element of distance we usually afford ourselves from the suffering we know goes on in the world. This exhibit, this art, makes that suffering real.

I knew some people who had resided at Riverview. I worked with them. I heard horror stories, but I also heard Riverview alluded to like it was ‘the good old days.’ When I was there in the Riverside facility, confronted with Picard’s paintings, I found myself thinking about those girls that I knew when I lived and worked in East Van. To go from this cloistered, in fact caged condition, to the streets of Vancouver literally overnight – from a secure torture chamber, to a dangerous vista of drugs, prostitution, and serial killers. I thought about the lives those girls endured, and that it happened right under my nose. As I stand in a large hall with a series of almost floor to ceiling windows, caged in wrought iron, I wonder what congregations in this space must have been like when the building was full of the ‘mentally ill.’ Then as I follow the structural pillars through the great room, a painting of a group of school boys reveals itself. They could be Jewish children during the Holocaust, or Christian boys in a boarding school, or just a collection of boys that have been killed in recent school shootings. Or they could be the boys of the Riverside Psychiatric Hospital. They could be the boys that occupied the horse stalls up and down the aisles I have just walked. They are the afflicted. And I am the implicated.  James has re-enacted the crime and made me complicit. Instead of merely showing me the paintings of the characters, he has recreated the experience so that I was a part of it.

In the grand sense we are all a part of it. It is all part of our shared collective consciousness.  We each have our own personal tragedies that pile on top of the historic wounds we carry around in our hearts. Millions are afflicted in 3rd World and developing countries, and millions more right here in the ‘developed’ nations. It is clear that the system is not working. We are all being wounded, and James Picard’s exhibit forces us to feel and confront the darkness, to call out the demons, and to cast them from our midst…and from ourselves. It achieves this by asking us to go beyond the paintings, and to experience the inner condition they express, and the source of this pain. To really feel the Dark and the Wounded, and to identify that part of ourselves that is afflicted. This art exhibit is ‘a real means to go in and transform the structure of society.’ We are the structure of society. If we heal ourselves, society is transformed.

‘The Dark and the Wounded’ teaches viewers to heal

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An immersive art experience at Riverview Hospital

By Aidan Mouellic, Staff Writer

I’ve visited art galleries and museums all around the world, but none of them has had as much of an impact on me as James Picard’s art show, The Dark and the Wounded. The show was held in the abandoned Crease Clinic building at Riverview Hospital on the night of October 27. It was less of a pure art show, and more of an art experience.

Picard, a Vancouver-based artist who specializes in dark and powerful oil paintings, used the symbolic space of the abandoned psychiatric hospital as the perfect place to display his paintings, which deal with the topics of pain, suffering, and hardship. Crease Clinic, where the paintings were displayed, was dark and spooky.

Having previously spent a lot of time there for work-related purposes, I’m familiar with what the decommissioned psychiatric hospital is like. But when the walls are adorned with Picard’s powerful and gory imagery and the halls are filled with the sounds of a haunting musical score by renowned composer Jeff Danna, you get a whole new experience—and that’s what Picard is hoping for.

The point of the show is to inform viewers of the types of tragedies that go unnoticed in the world, and to allow viewers to become more self-aware.

“You go through life wearing blinders and think that everything is beautiful, then you’re ignoring what’s really happening. When you stop ignoring, that’s when you heal,” Picard explained.

Healing is what the show hopes to achieve, and Picard is taking his art on tour throughout North America and soon to Europe in hopes of achieving that.

“When we don’t look at our wounds and think everything is fine, it festers because we’re not healing it and only putting Band-Aids on,” he said.

Picard’s show aims to heal by making us think about and confront the very fears that cause us to ignore the deeper rifts within society. In a way, he is on an ambitious mission to change and civilize the world—a grand task, but not an impossible one.

Picard realizes that there is a lot of bad stuff that goes on in the world and hopes that his show will be a critical worldwide intervention to open the eyes of people hoping to make change. We are all human and we all have the power within ourselves to make the world a better place.

The show that Picard created at Riverview Hospital attempted to effect change, and it did. The immersive experience of sonic, visual, and physical aspects transported the viewers into his ingeniously dark and powerful world.

Picard’s work is aesthetically moving and, more than that, it shares a message of healing and confronting stigmatized fears that society turns away from. This is important art.

Next up for Picard is a fundraiser and documentary trailer premier for The Dark and the Wounded on November 9 in Vancouver.

LA Week Blog: The Dark & The Wounded Los Angeles 2013

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Composer Jeff Danna and Painter James Picard in front of Picard’s Dark & Wounded painting in Los Angeles

Photo: Jason Ryant

  JUNE  1 , 2013

The Emperor’s New Clothes is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that are invisible. It is a story about exposing the truth and the facades we put up in order to not see what is really happening. The story ends when the Emperor parades before his subjects and they all pretend to see the clothes that aren’t really there in order to not look foolish. A child soon cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” The dream is shattered and the truth exposed.

Artist James Picard is exposing what we perceive to think is real with the help of musical composer Jeff Danna, both world renowned artists in their own right. They are the weavers of this multimedia exhibition and are letting us know that perhaps what we think we see and what we perceive to be our reality needs to be looked at a little closer. Perhaps we are seeing something that isn’t real after all and even though the myth has its charms, it is the truth in the end that is by far more beautiful and rewarding.

That was the premise for two inaugural art exhibits in Los Angeles in late May 2013. The first took place at the abandoned and haunted Lincoln Heights Jail and the second at the abandoned and also haunted Linda Vista Hospital in East L.A. Both exhibitions took place for one evening only and both were held at night which added to the exhibits extraordinary originality.

Picard states that, “Beyond fear, there is freedom.” and takes the viewers on a deeply poignant rollercoaster ride. His paintings are very unique and have an energy that I myself have never experienced before. Now combine that with the outstanding music of composer Jeff Danna, who has written for such movies as The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Resident Evil and Silent Hill, and the fact you are wondering around in the dark in an abandoned and haunted building and you are now set up perfectly for a very intense and emotional experience.

One of the most astonishing elements to this exhibition however is the way the paintings fit the music and the music fit the paintings, and they both eerily fit perfectly in the venues. I have several images burned into my brain and the music is still haunting me even though it’s been over a month since I attended the exhibit. There is something so unique happening here that I have the strange feeling that in a way, without sounding too crazy, that I am witnessing something of a historical nature. Never before have I been so impacted after an art exhibition. I feel the need to insist that anyone reading this article, if you have the opportunity to see The Dark and The Wounded, make every attempt to see it. It invites you into a world of self-discovery, self-awareness and as Picard says, “It is from within that change occurs and my objective is to get people thinking internally.” The show does this and more.

The paintings and music take you into a world that exists inside us all, but rarely do we go there. The exhibition gives us a glimpse into what being human is all about and leaves us feeling like we are all connected through events, both large and small, but it is indeed those events that make us who we are. It allows us to reflect from a place of vulnerability and therefore come to some pretty emotional conclusions. Bravo Mr. Picard and Mr. Danna. This is a very timely show and by pointing out what is really going on and exposing the realities of life we get to see the truth. The Emperor is naked and we all need to acknowledge that because then we truly can begin to heal our wounds, let go of our facades and become better humans.