James Drake: Tongue-Cut Sparrows<br />
2024<br />
Radius Books

James Drake: Tongue-Cut Sparrows
Radius Books
Foreword by Robert Storr, Poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca, Essay by David Scott Kastan, Conversation with the artist by Florencia Bazzano
ISBN: 9798890180803

James Drake: Tongue-Cut Sparrows presents a body of work inspired by the artist’s ongoing interest in the social dynamics of borderlands, offering a meditation on love, loss, and a desperate need to communicate. James Drake’s multi-disciplinary art practice centers around the human condition and systems of language to investigate temporal-spatial relations and the cyclical nature of history. During his time living in El Paso, Texas, issues related to the USA/Mexico border became a focal point in his work and the broader universal context he explores.

James Drake: 1242

James Drake: 1242 / The Anatomy of Drawing and Space
Radius Books
Text by Kathryn Kanjo and David Krakauer
ISBN: 9781934435823

In 2011 James Drake began the ambitious project of creating 1,242 drawings that would trace and reference all of the developments of his multifaceted career. Known as both a sculptor and video artist, Drake has always considered draftsmanship to be a key to his process. The volume is published to accompany a touring exhibition (titled The Anatomy of Drawing and Space) opening at The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in July 2014.

James Drake: Salon of a Thousand Souls

James Drake: Salon of a Thousand Souls
New Mexico Museum of Art
Text by Laura Addison
ISBN 9780981773216

“Salon of a Thousand Souls,” explores the artist’s work from the 1980s through 2011, with particular attention to the ways in which Drake mines the archives of art history and literature. Drake studies the theme of humanity in all of its triumphs, failures and follies. He has worked with equal fluency in video, photography, sculpture, drawing and printmaking, narrating the human story with an awareness of the greater cycles of history and a critical eye towards the social, political and economic problems of contemporary society.

James Drake: Red Drawings and White Cut-Outs

James Drake: Red Drawings and White Cut-Outs
Radius Books
Text by Carter Foster
ISBN: 9781934435403

James Drake’s career has spanned more than thirty years and includes work in many different media including drawings, sculpture, video, and installation. This monograph surveys works on paper from his White Cut-Outs and Red Drawings seriesThe white cut-out drawings are ephemeral studies in composition and subtraction. Made by literally cutting the paper with an X-Acto blade, the works belie their extremely complicated fabrication—visible as much by the shadows they cast as by the drawn line. The Red Drawings began in direct response to the White Cut-outsThe intensity and saturation of the red chalk infuses the drawings with a different life and character. 

James Drake

James Drake
University of Texas Press, M. Georgia Hegarty Dunkerley Contemporary Art Series
Text by  Jimmy Santiago Baca, Cormac McCarthy, Bruce W. Ferguson and Steven Henry Madoff
ISBN 9780292718609

“James Drake,” with an introduction written by Bruce W. Ferguson, is the first monograph devoted to the artist. Many of the works reproduced in “James Drake” reflect the artist’s preoccupation with borders—the political border between the United States and Mexico and the inherent social and psychological tensions of people living in these extreme and unique environments. Other works explore the internal boundaries that people experience as a result of attitudes, prejudices, power, control, and arrogance. Jimmy Santiago Baca’s narrative poem “Huitzilopochtli,” a personal response to Drake’s work, provides a verbal counterpart to the artist’s theme of border-crossing. In his essay “Between Animality and Man,” critic Steven Henry Madoff traces this subject through Drake’s work and shows how Drake uses it to contrast the forces of intellect and instinct, light and darkness. Interspersed among the color plates are quotations from writers as varied as Cormac McCarthy and Dante.

James Drake: Que Linda la Brisa

Que Linda La Brisa
University of Washington Press
Pamela Auchincloss Gallery
Text by Jimmy Santiago Baca and Benjamin Alire Saenz
ISBN 10: 029598016

Three poetic statements unite and intertwine to create a rare insight into the lives of people who bear witness to the exclusionary nature of society’s most basic assumptions about the nature of gender and desire: men in women’s bodies, outcasts, who make their living as sex workers. With the caring eye of an intimate observer, Benjamin Alire Saenz allows the reader to witness the hopes, fears and dangers of their transformations, sketching their daily lives in a series of short fragmentary prose-poems, showing the familiarity of the seemingly alien.

Jimmy Santiago Baca’s first person poem pushes the transformation further still, allowing as well as forcing the reader to recognize the frailty and pain caused by a culture’s ideas of what constitutes the normal. James Drake’s photographs unite the poems, complementing them with a visual thread of equally poetic intensity: changing faces, reflections in mirrors, blood and fears, as well as hopes and guardian angels