Jeremy Mann: Experimentations, Process and Emotions


NYC #23_Oil_on _panel_48x48_27.5k
Jeremy Mann, NYC #23, 48 x 48″ oil on panel. Inquiry

Experimentations, Process and Emotions opens April 28th as a compelling new body of sensuous portraits and moody cityscapes by California painter Jeremy Mann. Each concept in the exhibition’s title speaks to a fundamental ingredient in the painter’s life and artistry, which exist simultaneously as Mann’s personal observations define his actions in the studio.

Experimentations. The foundations for Mann’s cityscapes and figurative works begin far before paint is ever slapped, scraped or flung across a panel. Extensive photographic experiments and heightened awareness of his surroundings are the architectural underpinnings of Mann’s paintings. For his portraits, the artist stages an elaborate setting in his studio with a live model. Only after choreographing the set and costume, photographing the subject, developing the photos and scanning the negatives does he begin to paint the seductive emotional quality of the woman’s persona. For his cityscapes, Mann documents his subjects with quick digital snapshots taken in the midst of a midnight downpour or a chaotic stormy commute. It’s in these moments that Mann captures the heartbeat of the city, which he then reinterprets back at the studio using his photographs as reference points while he works.

“The imagery created during my photographic experiments is more foundationally important to the creation of my paintings than many realize, it is one of the “experiments” which lead to different processes which create new and more fine-tuned poetic emotions. I find no separation amongst subject and the final result being an image, only that some subjects elicit a specific emotion better than others; I find no desire in trying to make a city look beautiful and I’m not interested in painting a beautiful woman with pure aggression.  All needs to be in balance with its purpose.” –Jeremy Mann

Note in Pale Green #8_9x12_3.5k
Jeremy Mann, Note in pale Green #8, 9 x 12″ oil on panel. Inquiry

Process. Mann’s aggressive marks and gestural strokes are abstract in their conception, but coalesce into a structured composition recognized by underlying emotions. The same passionate process and keen observation that fuels the vigor of a city street is present in the soft light cast over a woman’s wistful face. Every stain, fling or mark of paint is highly intentional and masterfully rendered as a key component to the outcome of the piece.

“The underlying themes in my art are the abstract fundamental and theoretical ideas. As I create each painting I focus on composition and balance in both form and color, movement, the perception of light and its consequential effect on how we perceive the world around us, and comparatively just as important; mark-making. These are the things which carry between each subject matter, and their realization only comes from the little experimental pushes in painting. Where the study and painting of moving car lights in the middle of a cemented city storm will surface in my mind while painting a beautiful figure draped in silks as evening light dissolves.” –Jeremy Mann

The Lilin Paramour_36x36_18.5k
Jeremy Mann, The Lilin Paramour, 36 x 36″ oil on panel. Inquiry

Emotions. Mann’s goal as a contemporary realist painter goes beyond recreating trite details to capturing the complex emotions the artist attaches to his personal experiences in and out of the studio.

“I have a vague idea how to paint, so I will spend my life figuring out how to express with it how the poetry of music and movement of light make me feel.” –Jeremy Mann

Jeremy Mann’s April exhibition opens with an artist reception from 5-7pm during the Railyard’s Last Friday Art Walk.

Jeremy Mann’s quoted passages in this post were excerpted from a Q&A interview we conducted with the artist about the exhibition. To read the full interview, click here.

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