Art: Jeremyville

It's been 3 years since I started this blog and just like real life, it has to keep evolving. When I first sat down and wrote out all the things I wanted Life Is A Beautiful Detail to be about, it was much more than just cycling and cool gear. While yes that's still the heart of the site, connecting people to creativity in all its forms has always been my intention. So in the quest to push boundaries, evolve, and grow, I'm going to start profiling another of my interests. Art. Starting with Jeremyville.

On the ever growing list of my influences, Jeremyville is my favourite illustrator and cartoonist. You can probably guess quite easily how I discovered Jeremyville, but what I love most are his positive attitude, messages, characters, and figures.  The first piece of Jeremyville's work that grabbed me was the "Nightmare in Jeremyville" Dunny - an 8" artists version. Since then, I've been slowly adding pieces to my collection which now includes original art, ceramics, notebooks, toys, and most recently, a sculpture. There's a story to the last one.

At distinct milestones in my life I've always celebrated with art. My parents started this tradition when I was a teenager by giving me art rather than more material goods. Each one holds a special place in my heart and stirs up so many fond memories. So for my 40th birthday (yes I'm old), I again wanted something that I would cherish for ever. During my search, I made a casual stop into Studio Pazo here in Toronto, where I spotted some of Jeremyville's wooden sculptures.

The Jeremyville style is often descried as whimsical. This is may be best exemplified by his community public service announcements.  But look a little closer. Much of Jeremyville's work has darker undertones - evidenced by his "Fragments of The Apocalypse" series.

The "Fragments of the Apocalypse" series was a contemporary art collection centered around large scale original paintings, but most notably, it also includes the "Birds of the Apocalypse objects" from 2013. Information about the sculptures, or objects, is very sparse and it's only made more confusing in that the names of the two related collections are sometimes swapped.

Resource: Scribble08 coverage of Jeremyville's Fragments of the Apocalypse

What I do know is that the Birds of the Apocalypse were part of an art showing at the Capellini showroom in New York city in early 2014. The collection included a number of wooden sculptures based off of characters seen in the Fragments of the Apocalypse painting. The first edition of sculptures were done in raw wood and a later edition of variants were painted by Megan Mair in 2015. I don't know exactly how many of each piece were made across the two editions but I know it was very limited.

The most recognizable of all the characters from the Jeremyville - Birds of the Apocalypse collection has got to be, Jethro. In fact, Jethro's appearance is not exclusive to this collection! The Jethro character has also been involved with Jeremyville's collaboration with Colette in Paris and could be found in Keihl's stores as an inflatable promotional item during the 2016 holiday shopping season. 

As part of the Bird of the Apocalypse collection, Jethro maintains his bunny type appearance with an definite apocalyptic treatment. The roughly 9" by 9" by 13" sculpture has a distinctive nuclear explosion for an eye. It's really quite eye catching…. I love a good pun. It's a solid piece and best suited in the corner of an open room or high on a shelf.

The craftsmanship on the Birds of the Apocalypse - Jethro scultpure is quite remarkable. There is clear evidence that it was hand made with an attention paid to the details. The Jethro sculpture is made up of a total of 10 pieces, including the nuclear eye which is lathed from a single piece wood. In my opinion, the natural wood grain of the original edition only adds to the uniqueness of the piece. I haven't been able to identify who Jeremyville partnered with to produce the sculptures, but I'm still looking.

In late 2014 a few of the pieces were auctioned off for charity through Paddle8, but I hadn't seen any further coverage regarding the original set. So as you can imagine, when I saw the Jethro sculpture here in Toronto, I almost didn't believe it. As popular as Jeremyville may be, he's extremely hard to just come by, at least around here. So hard in fact that when I first saw it in store, I wasn't sure it was real. That's why before I purchased it, I contacted Jeremyville through their site to confirm that the pieces in Toronto, including Jethro, were authentic and legitimate. Good news is, they were.

Birds of the Apocalypse - Leroy

Birds of the Apocalypse - Harmony

This is the fourth Jeremyville figure I have in my pop art collection, and without a doubt, it's one of my prize pieces. For my birthday I really wanted something special and something that I would appreciate for a long, long time. My wife nailed it and I am excited to keep growing the collection. If you've never heard of Jeremyville before, I hope that maybe you find his work interesting. If you've stumbled upon this page while researching Jeremyville, welcome!