Introduction By Aesop Rock:
I would like to think that somewhere between full-blown, howling death and a basket of newborn kittens exists a climate where the malice and the mirth can mingle. A couple of daisies on your grave, a little venom in your cocoa, some broken glass in your bouncy castle. This type of polar mixer can serve as an intriguing, endlessly entertaining, true-to-life foundation from which a smidgen of lore can grow. Exaggerate the extremes even a little, and the stories, characters, and places that emerge warp accordingly. It is the recognition and exploitation of this tension that immediately drew me to the work of upstate New York-born, San Francisco-based artist Jeremy Fish.
At first glance, Fish's images seem to be rooted in an alternate world -- a world where gnomes travel via saddled dachshund-back and birds of all nations hatch adorned with the heads and hairstyles of every human stereotype imaginable. The bold, precise outlines give his ideas an immediate impact, but it's the aftertaste that really cuts deep. Everything comes with a story. I have never known Jeremy to create something without a reason for it to exist and an accompanying tale. His pictures are built from the simplest ingredients, ingredients with which the everyman can identify. Fish documents his every day, every trip, every friend, and every experience within his art to the point where one could line up his life's work, decode the riddles, and have a clear idea of where he's been, how he felt about it, the types of folk he chopped it up with, and what lies ahead.
What does lie ahead? Inevitably, more days and nights locked in his oddball studio, as the "King of North Beach" maintains an awesome and inspiring work ethic. Jeremy Fish is, for all intents and purposes, the real deal. To say he works hard would be an understatement worthy of a bid in the Bog of Eternal Stench. While the public gets to soak in the varied fruits of his labor, he is laboring behind the scenes... intensely and always. The guy is an art machine fueled by coffee, beer, and the occasional well-done burger. On any given day, one can wander into Fish's studio to find an entire new body of work that did not exist one week prior, complete with a storyline as engaging as the images themselves. The output level is shocking in both quality and quantity.
But, in the end, it's all only as deep as the man behind the drafting table. In an age with fewer and fewer creative heroes worth looking up to, I can say without hesitation that, in this case, the man at the helm of the hand doing the damage is a shepherd worth following. Fish would probably cringe at a comment like that, as his hermitic and occasionally bashful composure doesn't sponge up compliments well. But, I'm writing this, so fuck him. I've been around the world and met a lot of "artists" who eat, shit, and breathe inside a bubble of self-aggrandizement, armies of yes-men at their sides ready to toot the bugles for every flimsy "breakthrough" they put forth. Jeremy Fish avoids that typecasting by boiling his intentions down to their most elemental forms: he makes pictures, he makes a lot of them, he makes them for himself, he makes them for the people, and he makes them from the heart. I am proud to say that I look up to him. You should too.
With a degree in painting and a focus in screenprinting Jeremy's education and work experience has lead to a career as a fine artist, and a commercial illustrator. Finding a balance between exhibiting his work both across the US, and internationally in galleries and museums. while maintaining a presence designing skateboards, t-shirts, viynl toys, album covers, periodical illustrations, murals, and sneakers. The artwork is mainly about storytelling and communication, told through a library of characters and symbols. With an emphasis on finding a balance with the imagery somewhere between all things cute and creepy. Jeremy has lived and worked in San Francisco for the past 15 years.