French artist Jeremy Profit does not think like you – he is his own person. He thrives on self-awareness and an intense examination of humans and the way we interact based on social norms and expectations. His art depicts in excruciating detail the aftermath of disasters. Jeremy thoroughly understands that we live in a world of intricate and delicate balance where a little disruption of this delusive balance can send everything crashing down. This true niche of our existence really interests Jeremy. Jeremy responds to any expression that attempts to show the relationship between art and mass culture. His exhaustive use of pens to depict minute detail really boggles the mind. The world of art encompasses all forms of creativity and we at Style.No.Chaser are thrilled that artists like Jeremy Profit get to occupy a well-deserved place in it.
See the interview below.
“Some years ago, my art was socially critical in a ‘punk’ way …”
Please tell us a little about yourself – your childhood, siblings, where you grew up, what you liked as a child, strange thoughts as a child/now, unique attributes, where you live now, etc.?
I grew up in the deep country in the southwest region of France – my parents built their own house in the forest. This part of France, Les Landes, is a planted forest – the biggest in Europe. The forest is made up of only linearly planted pine trees. This kind of strange landscape is monotonic but beautiful in a particularly strange way. I grew up with my sister and we went to a little school where we were never more than 9 pupils. I had a simple and happy childhood.
When I had to leave this small world to go to high school, it was a big shock being around so many people. However, I ended up meeting and befriending many people and was even a member of some punk/hardcore bands for a few years.
I have worked in Bordeaux in an art workshop (Zébra3/Buy-Sellf) since 2007. We create a lot of different art projects with or for different artists. We use many different materials for small and sometimes very large projects. I learn a lot every day and I consider myself extremely lucky to have such a fulfilling profession.
What does your art mean to you?
Some years ago, my art was socially critical in a ‘punk’ way – a little bit militant. You could actually see an obvious message in my work. Now, I think my drawings are about how close to crashing the world we live in is these days. I think this is because there are vivid contradictions between our needs as human beings and the rules of the economic world. I think my drawings have become more expansive with a reserved perspective, offering more space for different interpretations.
How do you describe your form of art?
Most of the time I describe my art as a half-realistic/half-naïve form of drawing that describes suburban scenes just after some sort of disaster. I try to include as much detail as possible.
What tools do you use for the creation of your work and how did you create your personal style?
I only use felt tip pens. For almost 8 years I only used a single dark red pen, and since 2012 I have used colored pens.
I have been drawing since childhood and found my own style through constant trials. For some time I didn’t draw as much, I tried paintings but didn’t find anything really interesting to express through painting. During that period of uncertainty about my work, I had an opportunity to create drawings for a group exhibition. This prompted me to start drawing with a dark red pen on grey paper. After these drawings, I decided to use only that color and that paper (color and size) to draw. Suddenly I couldn’t stop drawing. In the two weeks before the exhibition I had around twenty drawings. In about 3 years I had a large number of these types of specific drawings. As I slowly evolved, I progressively increased the size of my drawings. Three years ago, I started putting colors into my drawings – this was a big revolution in my work.
When was your last art epiphany and what was it about?
I think Gravity by Alfonzo Cuaron was the last time I was very impressed about a form of artwork. I generally really appreciate the combination of art and mass culture.
What is the worst critique you have ever received about your work? What is the best compliment that you have received about your work?
Maybe I look threatening and people don’t dare to tell me any bad things about my work. Or maybe it’s the opposite and I look so kind and gentle that people don’t want to disappoint me with any form of critique. I really think indifference would be the worst reaction to my work. The best compliments are the big smiles that some people express after seeing something about my work that they like.
Which artist/s do you look up to the most? In your view, what defines a great artist?
I appreciate different forms of art and artists, so I don’t look up to any one in particular. Great artists reflect in their art the period and the society in which they live and eventually reveal something new or unseen from it.
Since Style.No.Chaser is a men’s lifestyle magazine, what attributes/items/clothing /etc. do you think define a man?
I don’t know… but if I think a little bit about that, I can definitely perceive a lot of things in a man from to the kind of shoes he wears.
What is your personal life philosophy?
Hard to tell in a few words, but this quote from Lenin “There are decades where nothing happens and there are weeks where decades happen” keeps me optimistic about the possibility of real change.
Who dead or alive, celebrity or not, artist or not, would you like to go on a two week road trip with and why?
My girlfriend (in the front seat for obvious reasons), Larry David (in the back seat because he makes me smile a lot and I’m a big fan of him and his sense of humor). Beside Larry, maybe Karl Marx, because he comes from the past and he would be totally surprised with what is going on in the world now. It would be fun to watch the interactions between all of us, and we would never be bored on this car trip.
How can people learn more about your current and upcoming works?
Jeremy-profit.com for older drawings and Jeremy-profit.tumblr.com for more recent or upcoming works.
See similar Features here …