One of the most interesting features about James' paintings in general and Birmingham 2012 in particular, is that you will not see his signature on the front.
"The minute you put people in a painting you are creating a narrative," James reasons.
Later, his art works were turned into building sized images and he began to travel widely to places like Oslo, Berlin, Moscow, the West Bank in Palestine and China.
The overall effect is that the longer you look at Birmingham 2012, the more you see.
Birmingham 2012, a panoramic view of the city from the top of Alpha Tower at the end of Broad Street with the Council House on the left and the Rotunda on the far right, was based on his own photographs.
A few key points were coloured black. The Wesleyan sign, for example, at the gateway to Colmore Row, and Omega Speedmaster Tv Dial
"I am not playing with light, just reducing a city to a pure state and dismantling perceptions which is also why the painting is hanging on a wall that has also been painted white."
He loved nothing better than adding the clutter of things like rooftop chairs, satellite dishes and window cleaning rails.
"I like the ability of looking at a city where you can see air conditioning and heating ducts. Washing. Plastic chairs. That's what really interests me."
Slightly bigger than 8ft x 4ft, the picture will take pride of place at the entrance to Birmingham: its People, its History an 8.9 million exhibition about the city's history which will breathe new life into the Birmingham Museum Art Gallery's top floor when it opens tomorrow.
Study Birmingham 2012 and you will not see a horizon there either. The top of the painting features lines crashing into each other with rapidly increasing density to mirror how, even on a clear Omega Watches Aqua Terra day, things in the distance just merge.
"I decided I would make it as anatomically correct as I possibly could, but I also missed out tons of cabling over the top of the railway lines in the bottom right hand corner because it would have made the area too difficult for the eye to decipher."
Look at the drawing closely and, although you will see cars, there is nobody in any of them.
In layman's terms, James agrees with my observation that as something to look at, Birmingham 2012 is in a place between a photograph and the kind of images that some autistic people are able to create from memory.
city landscape looks on the right lines
And, just like 2D movie formats have sufficed for generations, the eye begins to turn the flat 'screen' picture into a 3D image. No dark Omega Seamaster 300 Date
Two small tins of black, Airfix enamel are all that it took to create what looks like a sketch but is actually a painting on a sheet aluminium base.
Here, his name is on the top right side and, even though it is all but out of sight, it is printed, not signed (his paintings are signed on the back).
Born in Essex and living in Birmingham for the last six years, James' creative talents were inspired by photographers Robert Frank and Henri Cartier Bresson.
Interestingly, while he's one of many people who can't remember his own mobile phone number, he only has to look at each little section of the painting to remind himself of the specific Radio 4 Extra programme that he was listening to at the time, even though it wasn't something he was conscious of while painting.
the top of the Rotunda.
"I have always been interested in creating images that are not romantic," says James.
was during a visit to Tokyo, when he went up the highest building in the Japanese capital, that he found a city he could not see the end of and he felt compelled to recreate it with a painting of lines.
"I think it has a natural look to it, but you have to remember it takes up to four hours to dry so I would work on little different bits of the painting at the same time.
One was blown up to be about 2ft x 1ft to work from, the rest stored on his laptop so that he zoom and zoom again in search of details.
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