Russell James "Nomad Two Worlds"

Chair and the Maiden

poster for Russell James "Nomad Two Worlds"

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NOMAD TWO WORLDS, the sweeping, multi-media collaborative art project conceived by contemporary art and fashion photographer Russell James, returns to New York with two of its Indigenous Australian artists appearing in a special “Australia” segment of “Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway,” and a Limited Editions Exhibition opening at CATM CHELSEA Gallery. The exhibition focuses on the works of Nathan Mundraby and Clifton Bieundurry, the two artists performing alongside Jackman, runs from December 8, 2011 to January 8, 2012 and benefits the Nomad Two Worlds Foundation. Jackman and Donna Karan co-hosted the original star-studded launch of Nomad Two Worlds in New York in January 2009.

Inspired in 2008 by the Prime Minister of Australia’s “Apology” to its Indigenous people for their "profound grief, suffering and loss” caused by past governments’ culturally destructive policies and actions, Australian-born James set out to create a collection of truly collaborative art, music and film with Indigenous Australian artists. He hoped that Nomad Two Worlds would become what it is today – a powerful expression of partnership and reconciliation through art across deep cultural divides.

“Every picture in the collection tells part of a story…of the clash of ancient civilizations with the modern world,” said James. “Whether it’s a person, the ocean, a rock – each photo I take represents something I have seen in the subject, thought about or learned because of it. And each collaborating artist’s creative contribution furthers that story.”

Following the success with Australian artists, James began working with Native American and Haitian artists to include other disadvantaged cultures. This year he established the Nomad Two Worlds Foundation to support Indigenous and marginalized communities, raise awareness for the importance of cultural preservation and create opportunities for artists like Mundraby and Bieundurry’s to appear on Broadway.

At the center of Nomad Two Worlds is a stunning collection of James’ photographs of breathtaking landscapes and some of the world’s most beautiful and interesting people including Heidi Klum, Jackman and a bevy of Victoria’s Secret model friends like Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel and Miranda Kerr. The photographs, printed out on canvas, are then embellished with acrylic art reflecting traditional, cultural stories from the Indigenous artists’ point of view that further the narrative and the intent behind James’ photographs. Many of the stories told in the overlay art can be sung – painting and singing are often the way culture, tradition and the story of “family” are handed down from generation to generation.

“Queensland-based Nathan Mundraby and Perth-based Walmajarri man Clifton Bieundurry, are not only incredible visual artists but incredible singers and musicians,” said James. “At all of our art exhibitions, we do what’s called ‘singing of the paintings’, so Hugh has seen them both perform many times. He has always been a huge supporter of Nomad Two Worlds, and is deeply influenced by the Australian reconciliation movement and Aboriginal culture. It seemed only natural when he approached us about being involved in the ‘Australia’ segment of his show.”

With its strong message of “reconciliation through art”, and supporters such as Jackman and Karan, Nomad Two Worlds has continued to grow and gather additional advocates like the Clinton Global Initiative, Sir Richard Branson, multiple factions of the Australian Government and the world’s leading photographic gallery, Camera Work. Nomad Two Worlds has earned high praise and international acclaim for its exhibitions in New York, Australia (Perth and Melbourne), Los Angeles and Berlin, its music collaborations with members of the Black Eyed Peas and DJ Paul Oakenfold, and its cultural preservation and educational outreach initiatives.

Over the past decade photographer Russell James’ images have become synonymous with provocative, unique perspectives of many of the most prominent women of our time in the worlds of entertainment, fashion and beauty. His works have appeared in leading publications such as Vanity Fair, W, American Photo and Sports Illustrated, and have been published in several fine art books by world leading art-book publisher teNeues Publications, including the three-hundred page retrospective ‘Russell James’ (2009) and his sequel ‘V2’ (2010). In August of 2007 Russell was awarded the Hasselblad Masters Award, and in 2009 Russell joined the prestigious ranks of Irving Penn and Helmut Newton as a resident artist of Camera Work, the world’s leading gallery for contemporary photography and vintage master works. In September 2010 a series of James’ images was inducted in to the ‘fashion’ museum tour along side such greats as Richard Avedon, William Klein, Peter Lindberg and many other master photographers of our time.
Russell’s diverse photographic achievements range from exhibiting for brands such as Hermes in association with Guggenheim to breakthrough advertising campaigns for global brands, such as Rolex, Victoria’s Secret and Revlon, to emotional portraits of many of the world’s leading celebrities, musicians and supermodels, such as Scarlett Johansson, Halle Berry, Faith Hill, Barbara Streisand and a host of others. He has been the subject of solo photographic exhibitions in New York, Berlin, Sydney and Knokke (Belgium).

Created by world renowned photographer Russell James, NOMAD TWO WORLDS is a collaborative art project with Indigenous artists. In the last decade it has evolved from James' individual attempt to understand the clash of ancient and modern cultures he witnessed growing up in Australia to what it is today - a powerful expression of partnership and reconciliation in action through art, music and film that has become a global example of true collaboration across deep cultural divides. For more information, to purchase art and merchandise or to make a donation, please visit

The Nomad Two Worlds Foundation was established to promote and develop artists from Indigenous and marginalized communities. The foundation aims to achieve this by creating culturally relevant contemporary art, music, film and fashion through artistic collaborations with internationally recognized artists. Artists are supported to participate in local, national and international promotional and economic opportunities that arise as a result of the collaborations, and through art, cultural awareness and educational outreach activities, the foundation helps create and promote positive role models within the Indigenous community and the community at large. For more information, please visit



from December 08, 2011 to January 08, 2012

Opening Reception on 2011-12-08 from 18:00 to 20:00

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