Brain Scan Series
With the Brain Scan series, Verbicky takes the immutable legacy of the portrait and turns it inside out. Whereas most portraits focus on the visible body in some way, Verbicky exposes the inner workings of the mind. His fascination with the source of consciousness led him to delve into the science of neuroimaging. “I started researching brain scanning, and it raised more questions than it answered. I wondered how colour connected to feeling, and how scientists decipher the codes of thought and emotion. What is the colour and pattern of hope, what does the brain look like under the influence of drugs? And why does the human animal constantly try to manipulate the activity inside the brain, even when it can be deadly or dangerous to do so?”
Verbicky has used a variety of substances as a basis for his artworks including the body’s own consciousness-altering chemicals as muse such as serotonin and endorphins. This ties into his other works, like the Citta Samtana series, the Buddhist concept of the continuum on existence as we move through the world and our spirit carries on into the next life or next state of being.
Verbicky’s Brain Scans reveal a hidden world within, the unique ‘brain print’ that lives within us all. But most powerfully, Verbicky shows us how art can unite with science and together, unimaginable discoveries can be made about the nature of existence itself.
In 2010, Canadian born, California resident James Verbicky pioneered the “Citta Samtana” series (sanskrit words which translate loosely into “mental continuum” or mindstream). Themed around our current world of media and branding
and its attempts to persuade, manipulate, and coerce through subtle and suggestive imagery, Verbicky’s series present three- dimensional surfaces that transcend traditional painting and venture into the realm of sculpture, utilizing vintage media, graphics, advertisements and obsolete branding materials. Using acrylic paint, panel and resin (with some works employing LEDs), his abstraction attempts to capture both forgotten and persisting icons of media, reminding the viewer that we are constantly being influenced with, and by, media. With pristine attention to every detail of construction, Verbicky employs bold color combinations and elegantly smooth compositions that gleam under natural light. In 2016, Verbicky’s new Bhavanga Series transferred his wall mural technique onto canvas; presenting hand painted and stenciled works, that include the use of crystalina (“diamond dust”), in his signature horizontal bands. Verbicky has also absorbed multiple West Coast surf and music cultural influences into his work. His extensive experience as a DJ is also reflected in the work, resonating visually via the overlapping and intersecting visual “tracks” that he utilizes in the construction of his profoundly complex image structures. The recursive, opulent element demonstrated by the artist is illuminating in fact, reminding us of the most accurate descriptions of the Baroque sensibility: movement imported into mass; dynamic composition with exaggerated motion; clarity of abundant detail producing dramatic tension and exuberance; intense overload and a sense of overwhelmingly immersive sensual experience.
Notable private collections include that of the developer of the NY World Trade Center and CEO of Aecom, (Verbicky’s large canvas ERA Series) along with the esteemed private collection of the Tisch family (founders of the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and the Tisch Galleries at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art) and the San Diego Museum of Fine Art, CA. Other private collectors include television personality Dr. Phil, Calvin Klein Supermodel Lara Stone, actors Cameron Mathison, Jon Cryer, Jane Kaczmarek, and the Frank Sinatra Estate in Northridge. In 2008, Verbicky's work was selected for a 110 year-old juried exhibition at the Louvre, in Paris, France, by the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Other international exhibitions range from Berlin to New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and San Diego. Verbicky also collaborates with philanthropic organizations by contributing his artwork. In 2017, he received a personal invitation from Robert Kennedy for the Sotheby’s art auction to benefit Kennedy’s Waterkeeper Alliance foundation for cleaner water worldwide.