Kearney is best known for his twisted iconographical sculptures, his work has been shown nationally and internationally. His works made from wax, wood and steel, cast from his own body, deliberately stitched and mounted together. Kearney’s zinc and steel etchings provide a basis for understanding pain, and the beautiful language of suffering. The works of Berlinde de Bruyckere heavily influence Kearney’s body of work, also the paintings of masters such as Rubens and Cranach. Interested in the burden of the image, Kearney creates beautiful and dark poetic themes in his etchings.
The language of pain and trauma informs the vocabulary of Kearney’s work. The central themes conveyed in his works are sourced from Christian Iconography and motifs. The sensation of being and suffering reproduced in etchings of classical artworks and wax sculptures challenging our perception of eternal pain in mortality. James Kearney’s work is linked to that of the bodies’ portrayal in Christian Art and Iconography, the death and rebirth, the harrowing images of pain and suffering which are displayed as religious doctrine. Developing an emphasis on true human existence in the physical body. The Burden of images reproduced, is to give a poetic response to historical paintings.