Jeremy Geddes (b. 1974 / Wellington, New Zealand), studied painting at the Victorian College of the Arts and began working full time as a painter in 2003. He’s most well known for his paintings of cosmonauts and people floating, story falling, colliding and drifting in empty landscapes. He also received a BFA in 1995 and an MFA in 1997.
As the artist admits, he fails to see the difference between photorealism and hyperrealism. He thinks that photorealists are producing flat paintings, with the brush marks being blended away and hiding the physical nature of the medium. The greater part of his interest in painting is based right there, in using the abstract marks made by a brush in order to describe forms. Happening on a small scale and not apparent when the work is shrunk for the web or print, it still keeps Geddes excited about painting. Speaking on a more technical level, he’s much more drawn to the Pre-Raphaelites and the Victorian Academic painters. He’s inspired by Leon Bonnat and Jean-Leon Gerome, Antonio Garcia Lopez – a modern realist painter, and even Margitte , a master of surrealism. Some of his earliest influences were the painters working in the illustration field, such as Chris Foss and John Harris.
Light is one the elements he’s most concerned with, as it has the ability to set the tone and general mood, and is used as a sort of visual glue tasked with holding all the bits and pieces together. Striving to achieve cohesion, Geddes never paints light per se, but rather tries to depict the behavior of light on forms and surfaces. He’s playing with the elements in the work, manipulating them and pushing their intersection with light to achieve an effect, but no venturing too far and keeping the sense of reality intact. The size of the pieces is one more curiosity in Geddes’ work. The details give off an impression that they’re large in size, and yet they’re relatively small. The decision on the size comes down to something mundane as the actions of his wrist, the way he stands at the painting or the way he makes the paint marks. However, being extremely rigorous in preparations, the artist always thinks about how the artwork will be perceived in the flesh, the proximity of the viewers, the level of the abstraction occurring on the level of the individual brush strokes that he actually wants to be seen etc. Choosing the appropriate size is still in flux and the artist intends to experiment with it.
He now lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and whippet.