Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from Polish descent, James Verbicky lived the majority of his early life between Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia. As an adult, Verbicky moved to the U.S. and was awarded the rarely bestowed 'Extraordinary Ability' green card from the U.S. government due to his extensive involvement with a myriad of museums, galleries, charity organizations, and publications across America. In 2008, his work was selected for a 110 year-old juried exhibition at the Louvre, in Paris, France, with the Societie Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
Verbicky's “media paintings” are large sculptural assemblages of Baltic birch wood covered in vintage advertisements for popular brands and imagery from foreign magazines bought along the Seine in Paris. He arranges the layers of paper in a horizontal grid, paying homage to pioneering Modernists and Minimalists such as Piet Mondrian, Kenneth Noland, and Morris Louis. A resin topcoat renders the surface shiny and the paper transparent, so that the images on the backsides bleed through to the front, creating a sense of depth. Paying attention to what is behind each piece of paper “makes the collage more interesting and creates a certain mood,” he says. Verbicky’s collages, which can be “read” in any direction, evoke familiar scenes and subjects with meaningful messages.