James Siena (born October 28, 1957) is an American contemporary artist based in New York City. His art is typically created through a series of self-imposed constraints also sometimes referred to as visual algorithms ârules Siena decides on before sitting down to work. In most of his work he establishes a basic unit and action and repeats it indefinitely. Siena commented that, at a certain point I wanted to make drawings and works that act as machines. The way they act as machines is you have to find your way into them and find your way out of them. As you undo the making of them they come to life.
While originally recognized for his paintings using enamel paints on aluminum plates, Siena has also become recognized for his drawings, prints, typed works on paper using vintage typewriters, and sculpture. Sculptures have ranged from made with his own hands using common materials such as: toothpicks, bamboo skewers bound with string, and grape vines to his larger sculptures that have been realized in bronze and wood in partnership with the Walla Walla Foundry.