Employing several interwoven and visually discrete bodies of work, James Raczkowski delivers an unconventional narrative of modern warfare based on his experience as a soldier and clandestine operative in the Iraq war. Raczkowski's paintings twist the traditional genres of trompe l'oeil, landscape painting, and portraiture to serve as a metaphor for the fractured human experience of war, trauma, and memory.
Raised on a small island in New Jersey, James Raczkowski joined the military at the age of seventeen to escape suburbia and to finance his higher education. During his service he was trained as a tanker, infantryman and later received specialized security training. Raczkowski conducted numerous special operations missions while deployed to Iraq. His work is inspired by the current sociopolitical environment and the transformative events he experienced while overseas. Raczkowski completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Stockton University in 2011 and completed his Masters of Fine Arts degree at the New York Academy of Art in 2015. During his time at the Academy, he received the Academy Scholarship, the New Jersey Heart of a Hero Scholarship, was awarded a summer residency in Moscow, Russia and was one of six nominated for the Chubb Fellowship. His work has been recently published in the acclaimed book, The Figure. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.