About Mika James
Mikaela "Mika" James is a New York City-born artist, currently residing in Miami, Florida. She began her art career primarily working with wire and semiprecious stones to make jewelry.
A 2-year stint on Quimbamba Latin dance team led Ms. James to the rabbithole of New York City's underground dance, art, and music scene, where she drew immense influence from the vibrant community of creatives she was encountered. An avid disco and funk enthusiast, Mika became enamored with the sight of dancers writhing under disco lights. She drew inspiration from popular disco songs, Black-American painter Ernie Barnes, and Black-American choreographer Alvin Ailey to transcribe movement to canvas and create renditions of black and brown bodies in movement.
Mika also briefly studied black and white film photography, later using the techniques she learned to create screenprints of the work that she shot, developed and printed.
Upon moving to Brooklyn in 2019, Mika began to explore graffiti and tagging as an art form, using gold paint pens to tag under the alias Mz.Chief. After experiencing daily catcalling in Brooklyn, Mika leveraged her art as a means to express the anger, frustration, and fear experienced by women and domestic violence survivors like her worldwide who experienced the same treatment and had their pleas for help fall on deaf ears.
In her more recent works, Mika has begun to experiment with mixed media, surrealism and layering, drawing inspiration from Salvatore Dali to achieve a dream-like, psychedelic style, while continuing to focus on music, the Black Latina feminine experience and color theory as a means of expression and a catalyst to conversations about duality, political movements, and holistic wellness.