James C. Christensen was born in 1942 and raised in Culver City, California.
He studied painting at Brigham Young University as well as the University of
California at Los Angeles before finishing his formal education at BYU. Since
then he has had one-man shows in the West and the Northeast and his work is
prized in collections throughout the United States and Europe.
Opulent, colorful, Shakespearean, extraordinary: All words that aptly portray
Christensen’s most popular artworks that have also been described
as “creations from the land a little left of reality.” He has created a
Shakespearean Island, an entire undersea world and a village of Mother Goose
characters. But when he isn’t giving life to other’s worlds, he paints a place
of his own. The result is a unique kinetic kingdom where recognizable human
emotions are often manifested as fish or fowl, utilizing the viewer’s own
imagination as no other artist can. His art includes unique people, places
and things that exist somewhere between adult dreams and childhood
memories. “I don’t think of myself as a fantasy artist,” said Christensen. “I
certainly have an affinity for myths, fables and ancient lore, but I also find
time to create landscapes and other subjects which include commissions.
Recent projects, for example, include a mural commission for a conference
center in Nauvoo, Illinois, a poster for the 2001 Utah Shakespearean Festival
and a sculpture for Nu-Skin. “What’s truly important to me is that my art is
introspective and in turn challenges the mind’s eye of those who view it
regardless of the subject matter.”
The artist has been commissioned by both Time/Life Books and Omni to create
illustrations for their publications and his work has appeared in the
prestigious American Illustration Annual and Japan’s Outstanding American
Illustrators. Christensen has also won all the professional art honors the
World Science Fiction Convention can bestow, as well as multiple Chesley
Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.
Christensen’s fine art appears as works of art in porcelain and brass from The
Greenwich Workshop Collection; artist-inspired products such as note cards,
silk ties and books are also available. His first book, A Journey of the
Imagination: The Art of James Christensen, was published to great acclaim in
1994. His second, the adventure fantasy Voyage of the Basset, has more than
75,000 copies in print. His subsequent book include the inventive Rhymes &
Reasons, published in May 1997, Parables (written by Robert Millet, 1999), The
Personal Illumination Series and The Personal Illumination Journal (2000), a
series of interactive journals, A Shakespeare Sketchbook (2001) and James
Christensen, Foremost Fantasy Artist (2001).
Christensen was recently designated as a “Utah Art Treasure,” one of Utah’s
Top 100 Artists by the Springville Museum of Art and received the Governor’s
Award for Art awarded by the Utah Arts Council recognizing the significance of
Christensen’s artwork to Utah’s cultural communities. He was inducted into
the U.S. Art magazine’s Hall of Fame. Jim and his wife, Carole, co-chair the
Mormon Arts Foundation.