James Magee has been attaching extended titles to his sculpture for over 40 years, beginning when he was living in the Lester Kehoe Junkyard on Staten Island in the early 1970’s. At night, after work, Magee would climb into one of the many giant stainless steel milk containers strewn about the junkyard, and with a small tape recorder in hand, he would begin singing out his titles. Later, on a regular basis, he would chant these titles to a largely distracted audience of gay men cruising about the Christopher Street piers in Manhattan.
The extended titles to his sculpture are always written after the sculpture is finished, sometimes decade later, but not every sculpture is so entitled. When once asked why he writes such long titles, Magee responded that the titles serve as the subterranean membrane to the physical object, itself. In a world suffering from too much abbreviation, they hold the very essence of the emotional pacing of his sculpture.