James Neal

Visual Artist in Brooklyn, NY

I write and paint and photograph. My work is intended to provoke thought around what defines and separates us, and challenge normative constructions.

I began painting by accident, or fate or both. Inspired by an artist I met in Paris one recent summer I began sketching people in cafés in Antwerp and Berlin, offering them my drawings. Upon returning to NYC I began working on large canvases primarily with acrylics and pastels. Recently I embarked on a collection of essays entitled "Things I Know".

After graduating from college in my native North Carolina I went to work as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. Then a start-up entrepreneur. Then US politics- the second gay person in US history to run for the US Senate. That was a watershed experience and baptismal by fire.

Subsequently I lectured on contemporary US politics as an adjunct professor, and contributed as an opinion essayist for various print and online journals on political and social issues. News outlets CNBC, NPR, NBC, ABC, FOX, Channel One (Britain) and ORF (Austria) have featured me as a guest. As an activist I have been to jail several times, and escaped arrest more. I consult with private investors in venture businesses and serve on the board of directors of venture-backed companies.

This is what I do. For fun and money.

  • Education
    • The University of Chicago
    • The University of North Carolina