James Loftus is an Bradenton-based artist working in mixed media art. His materials include found objects, residue of the 20th Century, recycled junk, paint, wire, and the occasional preserved reptile.
Loftus has no formal art education, except for “art lessons” offered by a Mrs. Phyllis Ryan, a local painter, held around her dining room table one day a week after school sometime in 1963 or ’64. His degree, from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, is in English.
During the past half-century Loftus has been employed as a cab driver, hotel clerk, laborer, and journalist, and in the past 25 years as a cop and corporate security exec – “staring into the abyss,” he calls it, “chasing stalkers, crazy bastards and producers of work place violence dramas."
Finally realizing the truth in Nietzsche’s statement that while staring into the abyss, the abyss is also staring back, Loftus began working with mixed media in an attempt to provide a positive, creative outlet, an environment “without the smell of fear in the air.”
Inspired by artists like Nick Bantock and Michael de Meng, he began to develop his own style of Outsider Art, tinged but not contaminated by the Dark Side.
He also dabbles in magic, ciphers and history.
His studio, Piltdown Studios, is in Bradenton, Florida.