brittany-james-painting-copyRecent paintings by local artist Brittany James (below) are on display at Broad Street’s Salon Concrete, beginning with a reception Saturday evening.

brittany-jamesFor the 10th and latest in a series of art and cultural events hosted at Salon Concrete, the downtown Red Bank hair studio takes a slight turn toward the cosmic with “Return of Saturn,” a solo exhibit of recent oil paintings by Asbury Park resident Brittany James.

This Saturday, the salon opens its doors for an opening party that pairs an appearance by the featured artist with a photo shoot of models whose hair will be styled by Salon Concrete’s stylists and colorists, taking inspiration from James’ art.

The occasion also happens to mark the 30th birthday for the artist, who explains the title of the show as a reference to the astrological period of life when the planet Saturn completes its almost 30-year orbit around the sun, coinciding with the time of our birth. Most of the paintings in this exhibition were influenced by and completed during the time of James’ Saturn return.

“Painting is my way of escaping reality,” says the Ocean County native, whose activities include a regular gig as an instructor of children’s classes at Lincroft’s Inspired Minds Fine Art Studio and a “performance art piece” at a recent Glen Burtnik Summer of Love Concert at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. “For those hours that I am painting, I am temporarily existing in a dreamlike state.

She’ll often include a female figure in her work, “representing myself or the viewer,” says James. “The figure is always in a situation that tells a tale of escapism. I have represented this theme in the form of flying, floating, sleeping, dying, dreaming, disappearing, and being born.”

Her latest collection of oil paintings “was inspired by a dream log I kept for the past few years,” she says. “This is the most surrealistic work I have created so far in my ever-evolving artistic career.”

“Return of Saturn” will remain on display at Salon Concrete, located at 123 Broad Street, during regular business hours (Tuesdays through Saturdays) through December. See the website for details.