James Neal

Creative Entrepreneur in New York, NY

I hate defining myself. Like most people I'm much more than what I do to earn a living. My passions include painting and writing. I bask in the company of my partner, my family, my friends- and I routinely strike up converations with strangers. New faces and perspectives energize me. I think a lot about the past and the now, with an eye toward what the future might hold. My day job involves advising small business stakeholders on strategic financial matters.

I took up painting in 2018, and it has become an outlet through which I reinterpret normative constructions and self. In particular I'm drawn to the male form and figurative imagery. I completed a series of 50 portraits displayed as a 4 x 10 foot patchwork mural which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Political activism has been a firmament in my life and informs my work.

After graduating from college and grad school I worked on Wall Street in various capacities as an investment banker and investor. Then as founder of several start-up nentures. Then US politics- the second gay person in US history to run for the US Senate.

I have been a contributing writer to a host of publications mainly on current social issues and a lecturer on contemporary US politics as an adjunct professor- focusing on the corrosive influence of money in politics. News outlets CNBC, NPR, NBC, ABC, FOX, Channel One (Britain) and ORF (Austria) have featured me as a guest.

During the pandemic I enjoyed the expansive beauty of the Hudson Valley, became a vegetarian, painted and spent a lot of quality time with my youngest son.

  • Education
    • The University of Chicago
    • The University of North Carolina