Celebrating James McMullan

There’s a fabulous article in the December 2017 issue of Vanity Fair magazine that I want to draw your attention to. It is about artist extraordinaire James McMullan — as Vanity Fair calls him, “Performance Artist.”

That moniker is a tribute to the many posters he has done for Lincoln Center productions over the past 30 years. (Yes, you read that right.) Each of his posters shows his deep commitment to understanding and expressing that production, each is unique, yet each is distinctly a James McMullan work.

His artistic career spans far more than theatrical posters, though. In the 60s and 70s, he was noted for his visual essays in New York Magazine — in fact, his series of disco paintings inspired the movie Saturday Night Fever, as is recorded in many articles about him, including the current Vanity Fair issue.

In 2010, he wrote and illustrated a series of OpEd pieces for the New York Times, exploring the art of drawing, from the basics to more advanced techniques. There are links to these OpEds on his website. Also on his website, you’ll find two posts that show the fascinating process he goes through in creating his posters.

He has illustrated many books, often in collaboration with his wife, Kate McMullan (watch for a post about Kate next week) but he is also the illustrator for a number of other books, and these illustrations show the vast range he is capable of.

I’d encourage you to read the article in Vanity Fair. If you’d like to read an interview I did with Jim a few years ago, click here. For my post about his wonderful memoir, Leaving China, click here. (I was pleased to note, in the Vanity Fair article, that he is working on another memoir. I can hardly wait!)

J is for James. James McMullan. And it is for Joy, the Joy Jim takes in creating his art, and the Joy he gives to those who experience it.


Scroll to Top