Jeremy Fish – POV
For the opening of Jeremy Fish’s current solo show, “Yesterdays and Tomorrows” at FFDG that opened August 15th, a huge crowd turned up and spilled out onto the sidewalk – and for good reason. The exhibition features a remarkable amount of quality work, from over a span of 20 years, and is a testament to Fish’s prolific artistic activity, as well as development as a gifted illustrator. Originally from Upstate NY, Fish embraces California culture like a West Coast native. His works are visual narratives that unfold into stories about urban life in the Bay Area. References to the state come up in images of animals, especially bears, as well as skater and music culture. The entire gallery is transformed by a visually arresting installation of site-specific black and white wall paintings that frame Fish’s work. His signature rabbit motif stood out on one wall, as a play between positive and negative shapes, showcasing alternating primarily black and white images. Jeremy Fish offers us a glorious menagerie of hybrid animal/objects that feel nostalgic (cassette tapes and camper vans) with contemporary highbrow/lowbrow artistry (graphic design/street art/tattoo culture). A fish form made into the shape of the state of California, works as a literal reference to Mr. Fish claiming his new home state. His works are executed with a raw commitment that is fresh, cool and collected. You can see it in his pen work, lines, and composition. There is also a consistent strain of humor throughout the show. Fish laughs a little, and invites the viewer along – like in his work “Hooch Hound” that aptly features a dog in the form of a liquor flask. Perhaps the black ink work is a way that Fish and his ilk, like Mike Giant and others, can say – “Hey illustrator, Hey vector graphics, take this.” Just a man, his ink pens (with some underlying pencil work), and his paper. Together, the way he starts all of his work, they can conquer the world, one branded t-shirt, skateboard deck, or vinyl toy at a time. Fish laid down the challenge with breathtaking precision in what can only be described as a must see show.
FFDG (2277 Mission St, San Francisco, CA) show runs through September 13th.
written by POVarts West Coast Editor: Chuck Frank