Meet Jeremy Turpin the multidisciplinary artist from Buffalo, New York. Turpin discusses his inspiration, family, and what to expect from him in 2024. The painter, tattoo artist, and designer has spent a lifetime in the art industry and shares his advice to aspiring artists.
Where are you from?
Originally from New York, I grew up in Buffalo, as well as Long Island, so I’ve been in art as long as I remember
How do you feel this impacted you, coming from a place so full of arts and culture?
It allowed me to see different cool things, that the average person from a small town wouldn’t see, and access to a lot of different cultures, which inspired me to think outside the box more so than a normal person probably would.
Is there anyone in your life that really encouraged you to pursue art as a career?
Probably my dad, he is a musician, singer, and writer, so he really pushed me to not give up on it and really invest my time and life and my love in it.
What would you say to someone just starting in the art industry or what do you wish somebody would’ve told you ten years ago?
I always tell people to try to be themselves more so than worry about the next person, there are so many great artists out there, and a lot of times you get caught up in “am I as good as this guy or this girl?”, you trap yourself in trying to beat that person instead of finding your love and your you, the reason that you are doing it outside the monetary gain.
What does success as an artist mean to you?
I would define it as the more people that enjoy it, of course, I want everyone to have a piece of my art, I love it when people enjoy my art, if you notice I don’t sign the front of my pieces because I don’t want you to buy it because you heard of me, I want you to buy it because you love it and it inspires you to think outside the box.
Do you think politics and art should mix?
Art and everything mix I believe, but definitely art and politics, same with a comedian telling a joke like Dave Chappelle, and the same with art, where there is that moment that it brings two people from opposite sides to debate on something or people that are like-minded to have hope and dialect with each other. It allows you to open up more dialects with other people.
As the use of AI grows, how do you feel it impacts your career and how do you feel about the use of AI in general?
It’s going to take over everything but I think once that grows there will still be space for people who want actual authentic paintings, it’s cool to see, but scary in the sense it will lose a lot of the feeling in art.
You were recently in attendance at Art Basel Miami, tell me about that experience?
I got invited three weeks prior. They wanted something involving love, so I ended up doing five pieces for the event within 3 weeks. It was a great way to network with a different group of people that I normally wouldn’t be around and speak to.
Is your family a big aspect of your art?
It’s what keeps me going, drives me, and pushes me to do more, if it’s not about them there isn’t too much I want to paint about or for.
Did you go to school for art, is there anyone you feel really taught you about art?
I did private classes during grammar school and I went to a vocational art school in high school, one of my art teachers in high school Mr. Wright was a big inspiration for me, he was a teacher, but he also did a lot of shows and festivals, and I would watch him paint for a lot of upcoming events he would do and that put a bug in me to want to do something similar.
How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it before?
I would say more contemporary, but more fluid. I try to do a mixture of everything in certain pieces. Pop art, contemporary, surrealism.
Is there anything about the art industry you don’t like?
Most of it’s fake, it’s controlled by curators, and the gallery wonders. They might buy your painting for $10,000 and sell it to somebody else for $100,000 so they made this huge amount of profit from something they got for a fraction. The artist really doesn’t make as much as the gallery does.
Is there anything else you want me to know?
I’m here to enjoy life and spread love and spread my art, joy, and passion with as many people as possible so doing this with you guys has allowed me to touch other people I haven’t been able to.
What can we look to see from you in 2024?
I have one piece showing at the Rye Center in New York, and a show in June, and I am definitely doing Art Basel again next year. I’m planning to do 5-10 shows this year.
What does True Urban Culture mean to you?
That’s American culture to me. I think the majority of American culture comes from urban culture. It’s an abundance of art that’s gonna come up and bless a ton of different people.
You can check out more of Jeremy Turpin’s work on his Instagram page @kidwitthewings.