James Neal

Artist in Paris, France

Activist and figurative artist. Painting provides me with a vivid platform from which to reinterpret normative constructions.

Inspired by an artist I met in Paris in the summer of 2018 I began sketching people in cafés in Antwerp and Berlin. Upon returning to the US I began working on large canvases primarily with acrylics and pastels. Recently I completed a 50 portrait series “They”- a 4 x 10 foot patchwork mural which commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

After graduating from college in my native North Carolina and grad school at the University of Chicago I worked as an investment banker. Then a start-up entrepreneur. Then US politics- the second gay person in US history to run for the US Senate.

I have lectured on contemporary US politics as an adjunct professor- focusing on the corrosive influence of money in manipulating the democratic process. I contribute to various print and online journals on political and social issues. News outlets CNBC, NPR, NBC, ABC, FOX, Channel One (Britain) and ORF (Austria) have featured me as a guest. Social and political activism have landed me in jail several times, and I escaped arrest many more.

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