Jeremy Mann is widely recognised as a modern master of fine art. Hailing from San Francisco, one of his main goals is to portray his city the way he perceives it; with personality and drama. The majority of his work is focused on cityscapes, particularly in San Francisco and New York City.
Mann’s painting are inspired by wet surfaces and reflected light. Mostly depicting dramatic shots rendered with expressed strokes on wood panels. He paints with several techniques and implements, including ink brayers. An interesting effect is also achieved by using solvents to wipe paint off the boards.
“Living in a contemporary world, one is always influenced by the surroundings that beat down their door. Yet being an old soul, a lover of romantically antiquated ways, old European streets and slow days wandering outdoors, the heart in my work feels like a memory from the vintage cameras which I carry with me” – Jeremy Mann
With such precise compositions, one would expect freakishly long labour hours, but Mann is said to be able to pull off some of these within an hour; admittedly, over years and years of practice. It was not always so simple… he states “The first one took 12 hours straight and couldn’t be allowed to dry during the process until finished. It was a horrendous undertaking.”
Over and beyond his amazing cityscapes, Mann paints portraits of women. For quite a contrasting art form, it has a similar look, feel and character. He states;
“What I learn in the aggressive and exhaustive attacks upon the cityscapes I carry with me emotionally into to the figure work, and the composition, silence and beauty I find painting woman I allow to influence parts of the cityscapes.”
As one can pick up with most of his images, there is emphasis on contrast lighting, his painting favour darker settings with sharp bursts of focus light that bleeds through the darkness. This can also be seen in his portraits. One of my favourites is Menagerie, again the image is set in the dark with a heavy spotlight on the subject. These high contrast depictions create a dramatic mood in all his paintings.
*quotes extracted from Mann’s interview with TripWire.
Watch the trailer, A Solitary Mann by Loic Zimmerman. An up close and personal film about Jeremy Mann; uncovering his art and life.