James Marshall Dalek - Photo by Sean Deckert

Dalek /   James Marshall

United States 1968

Photography, Illustration, Painting, Murals

James Marshall
United States
March 12, 2017
Bojan is an author for Widewalls. He is particularly interested in English linguistics and culture. Bojan is also interested in Photography and Digital Art.

James Marshall, aka Dalek, is an American painter, best known for his Space Monkey, a “grinning and malevolent” version of a human being. Apart from painting, Dalek is also known for Photography, Murals, and Illustrations. Marshall was born on May 22, 1968, in New London, CT. Since he was raised by a military family, he grew up moving around the East Coast a lot. For a while, Dalek even lived abroad and graduated from a high school in Japan. In his search for voice and identity, the artist became a part of many subcultures, such as graffiti, punk rock, and skateboarding. He began his education at Virginia Commonwealth University, from which he graduated in 1992, gaining a BA in Sociology and Anthropology. Three years later, in 1995, the artist acquired his BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

James Marshall aka Dalek, shop work home privacy prints
J.Marshall aka Dalek – Two pieces of Space Monkey

Dalek’s Trademark

Drawing from his experiences and passions, Dalek started working on his Space Monkey, a character that would soon become synonymous with his name. It was completed in 1995, and in this artwork, Marshall incorporated his love for pop culture, the “vibe” of the punk scene, street art and cartoons. The curious thing about this artwork is that it is not a monkey at all, but a mouse, or rather, Marshall’s concept of a human being. Space Monkey became Dalek’s alter ego, a medium through which he expressed his emotions.

Marshall incorporated his love for Japanese pop culture

Dalek shop takashi character print privacy
Dalek – Untitled #1

Turning Points in Artist’s Career

2001 proved to be a significant year in Dalek’s career. In August, the Boston Museum organized a show, displaying the works of Takashi Murakami, which Marshall visited. Realizing that he still needed some sort of articulation when it comes to his own art, and finding it within Murakami’s works, Dalek started his apprenticeship with the renowned Japanese painter.
Another turning point in Dalek’s career was in 2007, when he had an exhibition, titled Desperate, Rejected and Angry in New York. The exhibition marked the change in many aspects of Dalek’s art: his paintings became deeper, layered and far more complex, and he also switched to his real name. His trademark monkey disappeared from his paintings or was only partially there.

2001 proved to be a significant year in Dalek’s career

contact prints ideas and graffiti home work print news
J.Marshall aka Dalek – Untitled A (left) and B (right), 2009

Abstract Style

Characteristic for Marshall’s new style is that it has become purely abstract. There is an abundance of flashing colors and multiple planes. Space Monkey is, to a degree, still present in his new paintings, since it provides a base. His paintings now represent the never-ceasing conflicting forces of the universe, which cancel and balance each other out.
Dalek has been praised by many critics, and his artworks have been featured in numerous publications, articles, and magazines, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Juxtapoz, etc. He has also participated in numerous one-person and group shows all over the US, Japan, and Europe.

Dalek currently resides and creates in North Carolina, US.

Featured image: Dalek in front of his artwork
All images are courtesy of the artist and Jonathan LeVine Gallery

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2010And There Was War in HeavenJonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2009True SelfJonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2009Dalek & DeltaElms Lesters Painting Rooms, London, UKGroup
2008Overweight New Paintings and On-Site ProjectIrvine Contemporary, Washington D.C.Solo
2007Desperate, Rejected & AngryJonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2007Small, Medium and LargeElms Lesters Painting Rooms, London, UKGroup
2007Don't do that!Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, London, UKGroup
2007DalekMerry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2006HypeElms Lesters Painting Rooms, London, UKGroup
2006Group ShowGalerie Magda Danysz, Paris, FranceGroup
2006Group ShowArte Fiera, Bologna, ItalyGroup
2005Group ShowMagda Danysz Gallery, Paris, FranceGroup
2005Group ShowMcCraig Wells, New York, NYGroup
2005Group ShowJonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2005Group ShowMerry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005Group ShowArt Prostitute Gallery, Dallas, TXGroup
2005Group ShowClementine Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2005Group Show222 Gallery, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2005Group ShowLe Gallery, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2004Group ShowMerry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angleles, CAGroup
2004Group ShowGalerie Magda Danysz, Paris, FranceGroup
2004Group ShowPaul Rodgers 9w gallery, New York, NYGroup
2004Group ShowCincinnati Art Center, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2004Group ShowYerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CAGroup
2003Group Show111 Minna St. Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2003Group ShowAsian American Arts Centre, New York, NYGroup
2003Group ShowLump Gallery, Raleigh, NCGroup
2003Group ShowHeaven Gallery, Chicago, ILGroup
2003Group ShowContemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VAGroup
2003Group ShowWashington St. Art Center, Somerville, MAGroup
2003Group ShowCompound Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2003Group ShowMcCaig-Welles Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2003Group ShowOX-OP Gallery, Minneapolis MNGroup
2003Group ShowParco Gallery, Nagoya, JapanGroup
2002Group ShowDeitch Projects, New York, NYGroup
2002Group ShowBlack Market, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2002Group ShowRocket Gallery, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2002Group ShowApart Gallery, London, UKGroup
2002Group ShowNew Image Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2002Group ShowEighth Floor Artist Corp, New York, NYGroup
2002Group ShowLuxe Projects, New York, NYGroup
2002Group ShowThe Front Room, Brooklyn NYGroup
2002Group ShowMerry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2002Group ShowUpper Playground, San Francisco, CAGroup
2001Group ShowMOCA DC, Washington, D.C.Group
2001Group Show381 G Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2000Group ShowGuernsey 's Graffiti Auction, New york, NYGroup
2000Group ShowNew Image Art, Los Angeles ,CAGroup
2000Group Show111 Minna St. Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup