I am pleased to introduce you to another amazing artist from the Paintguide exhibition at Unit London. His painting Septenary has received critical acclaim and was incredibly well received by visitors to the show. Read on to find out what makes Jeremy Mann tick...

Lisèle Teyssier for Unit London: Could you tell us a little about your background and your start in the art world?

Jeremy Mann: I started my formal education through a very informal art program in a state college in southern Ohio. We were allowed to pretty much do whatever we wished, which allowed me to experiment and explore, though when I graduated, I couldn't paint honestly. I wanted to be able to paint everything, so that I could choose not to include it in a painting if I wished, not because of inability. I moved to San Francisco for a more formal education, retaining the experimentation and looseness I garnered from my undergrad, and first began showing my professional work with the John Pence Gallery in downtown San Fransisco.

UL: Take us through your creative process?

JM: Most of the work is involved in preparation for the actual painting.. which means the set design for photoshoots, the model choices, the fashion and lighting decisions, the use of antique cameras and processing my own film. As well as study in Plein Air and life drawing sessions. It is this sort of lifestyle that facilitates a wider breadth in the studio, where i work from a monitor due to its emission of light, the main thing i wish to paint.. light (with help from the monitor) and atmosphere (with help from the film shoots and plein air studies). The actual mark making, harmony, composition and balance are then left for me to exude while painting, instead of struggling with all things at once. I've developed my own techniques and approaches due to years of trail and recognized error to lengthy to explain in these words.

UL: Where do you work?

JM: Typically each piece in the studio takes three sittings, irregardless of size. I've found which technique work the best for me, which includes speed and confidence in accuracy and accident control. But also mentally, I prefer to work on one piece at a time, solve one story through to the end, then work on another, a completely separate life of its own. I think this allows me and my paintings to explore many more avenues of storytelling, emotions, styles and looks, than would working on a body all at once. But again, that is paint to panel time.. many people seem to glaze over the time it takes to prepare not only the idea, but the reference for each piece, which is usually going on throughout every day, all day.

UL: Where do you find inspiration for your paintings?

JM: Everywhere.. mostly in images from every avenue, but also in solemn moments staring into the colors and patterns in the world. Or noticing when a composition is in harmony in the real world, for just a split moment.. but to remember that, to make note of it, and reproduce it within my work is a driving force. The need to paint is a deeper inspiration within me that drives the work ever onward.

UL: What is your proudest achievement?

JM: At this time, I'd suppose it would be the creation of the book Mann vol. 1. I did it solely for the effect of sharing that immense amount of work I've done with those who cannot afford to obtain actual pieces. It is sometimes painful to create a piece, and then watch it be whisked off to closed doors for private enjoyment. I'm unfathomably grateful for all my collectors.. but as an artist, some of my favorite moments and things are mornings and evenings flipping through art books. It is invigorating, humbling and inspiring, and I wanted to provide my paintings to anyone who wanted to share that same feeling with me.

UL: Could you tell us more about your book and your movie? How did the idea of a movie come to you, and what is the story behind it? 

JM: The movie was the brain child and creation of artist and filmmaker Loic Zimmermann, who approached me after several workshops together, with the idea of filming a few days of my life. Unscripted, a unique documentary film, it follows no previous ideals of what a documentary is, there isn't much in the way of instruction, which bores audiences through most artist documentaries, and is more of a glimpse into the life of an artist. It will be released to the public sometime next year after it has been through the festival circuit, of which it has already received numerous awards. Loic is a true visionary, and I am proud to have my life captured through his eyes.

UL: What would you like to achieve in the future?

JM: A more personal body of work, which can only come from a long break away from shows and productions which require deadlines and hasty decisions. I'd prefer to simply paint for myself, travel the world and plein air, draw and experience, and then only afterwards host a show of the results. I'm soon to print two smaller books, one of only plein airs, and one of my sketchbooks, in order to expose that, until now, unseen side of my art.

UL: What attracted you to the Paintguide show?

JM: Henrik’s idea was a wonderful one. A gallery show run by an artist, showing the best talents as decided by the artists themselves, not the confused and easily controlled public, or the financially driven galleries of the modern world. A sort of throwback to the salon days (without the open judgment) and I knew it was going to be a great show. Hopefully this begins a run of openings where the lineup of artists showing together, and the amount of admirers rich and poor, young and old, create the rush and the importance of the event.

UL: What do you think of the art world? 

JM: It has been contaminated by a lot of unworthy galleries, showing bad work only for financial reasons, creating a misunderstanding amongst the public of what truly good modern art is. And yet, with the rise and spread of information in this age, I see hope hidden within the humble and creative artists scattered throughout the world, creating amazing things, and now gaining recognition amongst their peers and followers. I hope it is only a short time before the fame of an artist comes back to rest in their true quality, and not the pomp and hype of the blind masses.

UL: Can you tell us something about you that nobody knows?

JM: I have a low grade fever right now and my hands are almost always shaking.

“Septenary" by Jeremy Mann for the Paintguide exhibition.


Useful link to follow Jeremy Mann’s work:

Website - Instagram - The trailer of A Solitary Mann - To purchase the book Mann Volume 1


Interview conducted for Unit London