The city streets vibrate in these oil paintings


All images are courtesy of the artist

Late one night, when he was a “drunk and depressed art student,” Jeremy Mann came back to his studio and started picking up all the random objects he could find, trying to paint with each one. This continued into the morning, when he saw the resulting mess. “What I created was a lot of waste,” the Oakland-based artist, originally from Ohio, tells us. “But one brand sang so well among the crisscross of shit.” This mark was created with a broken ink roller, which rested on the floor in the middle of a pile of cardboard, sticks, markers, bottles, latex and charcoal; all thrown away as unnecessary tools. “I immediately bought every type and size that I could, and got it into my head to figure out how to exploit this brand in any way I could, effectively making this brand my own.”

He refined this technique of using rollers, even adding printing squeegees into the mix, and he pulled off a sleek, clean style that belies much of the carnage that went into it. Angular shapes, vibrant colors, and transparent layers look very mathematical and almost digital. Even its level of production adds to the feeling that they were created with software rather than oil paintings.

There is an energy in the rooms, be it the dense cityscapes that are a common subject in his work, or just the lines in his painting. The physical movement is very clear. But the clarity and serenity they evoke come from a scene of chaos. In his studio, he swears heavily, sometimes dances, throws objects at the wall and gets dizzy at certain knocks. “The entirety of the emotions in me are released into this private space, absorbed into my life and wrung out within these walls,” he says.

The aesthetic of his work matches graphic design well, but he has a deep aversion to the digital world. In a previous interview, he lashed out at it: “I hate digital. From the effect it has on our social lives, the frustrating inability to install a program that works seamlessly with other programs, to the overwhelming and unnatural amount of detail. in a digital photograph. “

It’s not a total aversion to everything modern though. He takes full advantage of Instagram and social media, posting his many tables with high frequency.

While the paintings don’t actually contain the reams of data they seem to contain, they are packed with information regarding the movements made during the fabrication of the parts. This physicality is at the heart of the end result. “I like a cool and a blast, or a quiet moment when it’s gone,” Mann explains. “The marks are made with immediate, haphazard precision, it’s incredibly nerve-wracking. But this process has given me peace to think between layers and respond with enlightened urgency as I create each piece.” The notes that he considers intrinsically “his” come from very time-sensitive techniques.

This also leads to the speed of its release. He paints several rooms at once, partly because things need time to dry, but also because he gets bored easily and likes to move around a lot. Speed ​​is furthermore the result of intimate familiarity with his style.

But he’s constantly trying new styles, actively stepping out of his comfort zone: “I just found out that I love gouache (and all the many ways it is spelled) for outdoor paintings, but I also have developed a hatred for watercolor. The process is just backwards and it just hurts my brain, which is why I keep wanting to figure it out. “And it gets a lot more experimental than that. He’s tried door stops, wipers, bottles of wine and whiskey instead of brushes. ”Even this banana which turned out to be in fact a good mixing tool, painting with lettuce, however, I can tell you it might be useless. In this process of experimenting with tools, an artist inevitably discovers new techniques as a result of accidents and learning. how to recognize these accidents as deserving or not, then exploit them or bury them. “

To learn more about Jeremy Mann’s work, click here.


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