James Strombotne romantic visionary Strombotne, born in Watertown, South Dakota in 1934, was raised in Southern California. He received a fellowship from Pomona College to travel in Italy, and at age 27 was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for further study in Rome. His first one man show in Beverly Hills in 1958 was an instant success, and since then he has had over 70 solo shows, including four in New York and nine major retrospectives.
James’s paintings can be found in the permanent collections of Museums across the United States, including The Museum of American Art, NY, The Whitney Museum of Art, NY, The Hirshorn Museum, D.C., The San Francisco Museum of Art, CA, and The Chicago Art Institute, IL. With his roots in Los Angeles, there is a Hollywood connection; his work can be found in the collections of many of Hollywood elite; actor, Jack Nicholson has been a major collector throughout the artist’s career and owns over twenty of Strombotne’s major paintings.
“At my age, painting must be fun or I wouldn’t look forward to doing it every day. I would be bored; but, I am not bored–but invigorated. I love my work. I love the challenge. I love the process of invention and discovery. I never repeat myself. I’m like a storyteller with an endless supply of stories: romances, adventures, tall tales, mysteries and exotic fantasies. My world is full of drama and visions, my own idiosyncratic and unique view. I am witch doctor, shaman, and high priest. I am also a heretic and consummate outsider, the eternal ‘enfant terrible’. I feel passionate and righteous about what I do–my calling. I also feel, without the slightest bit of arrogance or self-consciousness, that I am the best at what I do.” – James Strombotne.