Briefly describe the work that you do.
I create abstract art based on my distinctive style of line work. I am a studio artist, creating paintings and prints for the purpose of gallery exhibition, but I also work as a community artist, organizing, advocating, curating, collaborating, and creating public art.
At what point in your life did you decide to become an artist?
When I was very little I used to tell my mom that I wanted to be a garbage man because I wanted to ride on the back of the truck. I have always loved to make art. In high school, one of my art teachers submitted the second painting I ever made to the scholastic art awards and I won one of the Golden Key prizes. At that time I was thinking about my future and I consciously realized that art was the only thing I wanted to do.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
I grew up a happy middle class kid in Racine, WI. School never really kept my attention which led to a lot of daydreaming and constant scribbling in notebooks. I think my love for bright colors, street art and my fascination with the abstract comes from growing up during the 80’s and early 90’s with the rise things like of video games, MTV, breakdancing, Nike, and Hip Hop just to name a few.
What types of conceptual concerns are present in your work? How do those relate to the specific process(es) or media you use?
I would say that I have intentions with my works, but not conceptual concerns.
We once heard Chuck Close say he did not believe in being inspired, rather in working hard everyday. What motivates you in your studio practice?
I get inspired, but I think it’s more important for an artist to work hard everyday. I had a conversation with an artist friend of mine several years ago about being an artist, and he asked me “Are you making art every day?” to which I replied “no.” He then said, “Well you aren’t an artist.” His statement irritated me at the time, but I took that to heart and began an everyday artist practice. I truly believe that the more you work, the better you are and the faster your ideas evolve. I enjoy being in my studio and creating art so it is not hard to stay motivated.
What artists living or non-living influence your work?
Picasso, Kandinsky, Basquiat, Giacometti, Frank Stella, James Jean, Richard Jackson, and Street Art.
When you are not making art what types of activities and interests do you engage in?
Spending time with my friends and family. Attending local art and music events. Cookouts. Binge watching shows on Netflix. Nature walk/rides. Ping pong. Chess.
Jeff Redmon was born in the summer of 1977 in Racine, Wisconsin. Since receiving his BFA from the University of WisconsinMilwaukee in 2000, he has been heavily involved in the community through the arts. He is focused on painting, drawing and design.
Redmon is currently an artist in residence with Redline Milwaukee, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, which is an urban laboratory that seeks to nourish the individual practice of contemporary art and to stimulate the creative potential of the local community to which we are linked. RedLine has provided Jeff with the opportunity to greatly expand his skills as an artist through mentorship, workshops, professional development, and interaction with the other artists in the facility.
Since 2010 Redmon has been a member of Made In Milwaukee, a cultural advocacy group dedicated to the exposure, growth, and advancement of the local art, music, and business community. Through MiM he has helped to organize Milwaukee’s first TEDx event, cofounded and organized BVGN (Bay View Gallery Night), created the “ALot” juried mural exhibition located in the Colectivo Coffee parking lot, and much more.
Jeff has shown his artwork in numerous locations, created murals, organized events and curated exhibitions in the Milwaukee area. He is a studio artist creating art for gallery exhibition but he is also a community artist working with others in his network to inspire, create, and shape the place where he lives.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.