todd james a.k.a. reas  is an artist based in new york city. a self-taught talent, james started out on the street, or in fact, in the city's elaborate subway system, and gradually worked his way into the global limelight with his distinct style. his work is often politically-charged, capturing numerous tough topics or incidents in a deceptive, brightly coloured comic book aesthetic. merging acrylic, oil, graphite and gouache with re-occurring motifs of grinning aircraft carriers, lounging blondes, sneaky missiles, beleaguered tanks, and men at war, james attempts to break the distance between the viewer and what they are trying not to know about the global state of things. james' edgy style resonates well within creative circles and he has collaborated on a few occasions with iconic names in music and fashion. opening fri - may 1 at london's lazarides rathbone gallery is a new showcase of work by james. deceptively entitled fantasy island, it presents an exemplary range of mostly large-scale paintings that depicts the aforementioned socio-political themes in bold compositions. location: 11 rathbone place [fitzrovia].