Jeremy Crawford’s personality is almost as bright, bold and colorful as his paintings. Originally from Vermont, and after a 9 year stint in New York City, Jeremy arrived in Baltimore in 2002, and immediately made a splash in the Baltimore’s wild and wonderful world of art. His most recent exhibition, entitled “We Are Gone”, opened last Friday at Metro Gallery.
One could describe Jeremy’s work as pop-surrealism, though I am not personally one who is much for labels. His previous works are full of character, and in many ways remind me of something Hunter S. Thompson may have seen during his infamous, drug-induced romp through Las Vegas.
“We Are Gone” represents a departure from what many have come to expect from Jeremy’s paintings. Never one to underestimate the artist’s need to morph and change, these works emerged out of a “conscious effort to minimalize,” as Crawford has “stripped away the paint to suggest a sense of faded remembrance.”
The characters in these paintings, unlike his previous, take on a ghostly appearance, and are more so implied than fully representational. Instead, he focuses on other aspects of each character to step into the foreground. He cites the source of his subject matter as coming from photos, images, and vintage magazines. A handful of characters represented in the work on display are inspired from people Jeremy personally knows, some of whom he recognized only after he had started to paint.
This show at Metro Gallery is Jeremy’s 5th solo show in Baltimore, and he is no stranger to North Charles Street. For 3 years, he and partner Jim Lucio ran Flux Studios in the space that now house the Bohemian Coffee House. As we sit in Metro Gallery, Jeremy recalls the days of Flux’s glory. You can see a twinkle appear in his eye as he reminisces with poetic nostalgia about the happenings and shenanigans that took place just across the street.
His technique to create his ghostly canvases is to create each painting, and then, using sandpaper and water, to wash away certain features, “mirroring the erosion that takes place in our memories over time.” Looking through his previous work, it is clear that people serve as Crawford’s main source of inspiration. His new exploration examines the fragility of relationships, memories, and images themselves.
“We Are Gone” will be on display at Metro Gallery through April 31st. With tentative open gallery hours on Sunday, perhaps your best chance to see the work is at one of the gallery’s concerts or shows. The exhibition will also be on display during the April 25th announcement of the Baker Artist Award winners.
Up next for Jeremy is to continue to make work, evolve and explore new territories within the realm of his painting. For Metro Gallery, once “We Are Gone” comes down, it’s on to the Videopolois interactive media exhibit in conjunction with the Maryland Film Festival, which will take place may 3rd and 4th.
Click here to visit Jeremy Crawford’s Website
Click here to visit Metro Gallery’s Website