James Rielly's paintings, lithographs, watercolors and other animated films are savored like little English candies lightly marinated in pickle water. In a wise and sweet, almost naive style, his works in pastel tones little by little reveal their black humor and slowly diffuse their light poison with sweet and sour flavors. In a strange atmosphere, a disturbing childhood world is discovered because it is populated by strange creatures with multiple arms and eyes that seem straight out of John Carpenter's “Village of the Damned”. Rielly practices the art of nonsense dear to the British and, between dream and nightmare, with a scathing humor, presents a subtly offbeat reality over which gentle Freaks reign that we are immediately addicted to. A critique of the family and the violence it sometimes conveys subtly emerges from his figurative works which remind us of Peter Blake or Alex Katz.
Present on the international scene, his works have been the subject of personal exhibitions such as Sensible ways at the Museum of Fine Arts in Nantes (1997), at the Nauchatel art center, Switzerland (1998), La Box in Bourges ( 2014), at the Beaux-Arts de Paris, Cabinet des Dessins (2015) and at the CAC Malaga (2022). As well as numerous group exhibitions, Sensation-Saatchi collection at Royal Academy, London (1997), Outlook in Athens (2003) curated by Christos M. Joachimides, for the exhibition of donations from Florence and Daniel Guerlain at the Center Pompidou in Paris (2014) and We lived our lives in the spiritual not the material world (2016) and Stories for Mexican ghosts and children of all ages in 2018 at the Galeria Estereo in Mexico.