04/02/13
SOMA Magazine - Jeremy Jay Photography

http://www.somamagazine.com/jeremy-jay/

Photography by Larissa James

Words by Amity Bacon

If there were to be a remake of the 1985 John Hughes flick Weird Science with two bookish girls creating their perfect heartthrob via computer, rather than two ‘80s era nerds creating Kelly Lebrock, Jeremy Jay would surely land a starring role. Because, by all outward appearances, he is a Godard-loving, Modern Lovers-listening indie girl’s wet dream. How else could this perfect amalgam of innocent ‘50s crooner, edgy mod poet, and ‘70s post-punk rocker have been created other than through a computer?

Fortunately, Jeremy Jay is more than just an object worthy of teen desire; he is a storyteller with lyrics that read like a dream journal, and musician with songs that play out like a French New Wave film.

Jay’s unique cinema-inspired aesthetic seems to permeate every aspect of his persona, from the ambiguous plot lines of his songs, to the ‘60s-style experimentation of his music videos; to his wardrobe, which can only be described as that of a missing Tennenbaum. If you can imagine the Harold character of Harold and Maude, all lanky limbs and shaggy hair; wandering aimlessly through city parks and under street lamps, you’re almost there.

When asked what type of film he would score music for or if he could create a soundtrack for any film past, present or imagined, he says, “If David lynch would direct a Spielberg production of a Marlene Dietrich-produced Bob Dylan entertainment movie called Next Generation.”

Not surprisingly, Jay grew up in Los Angeles and claims to have spoken French exclusively until his teenage years. Following a series of 7” singles and low budget French New Wave-inspired videos, he recorded his first full-length album, A Place Where We Could Go through Olympia, Washington’s K Records.

Jay’s verses consistently unfold with hints of obscured imagery, as in the song “Gallop” from his most recent album, Slow Dance: “Sometimes we gallop over moonbeams/Giddyup, horsey, giddyup.” Or, “Lunar Camel” off his earlier Airwalker singles, in which Jay imagines a surreal dreamscape of “chasing a monsoon over the dunes.”

Regarding the surreal quality to his lyrics, he agrees that many of his songs are influenced by his own dream world.

“Sometimes we have dreams we don’t really understand. Some of that is in the record Slow Dance,” Jay says. “Also there are songs that are a direct journal of my life. The song ‘In this Lonely Town’ was about me going to Olympia to record and play our shows.”

Like a contemporary, male version of the Velvet Under-ground’s Nico, Jay often offers deadpan speak-singing over the echo of finger snaps, reverb and tambourines. While other times, as if he’s flipped a coin to decide which decade to time travel to, his sound is more upbeat, dishing out synthesizers as generously as Gary Numan. This duality is more striking on Slow Dance than anything previously released. And is unlike his earlier work on the Airwalker EP, where an ‘80s New Wave Blondie cut like “Angels On the Balcony” is reworked and stripped down nearly beyond recognition.

From his earlier singles, to the recent album, critics have consistently likened Jay to Jonathan Richman for his raw, disaffected vocals. Like Richman, Jay plunders the murky depths of ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll nostalgia, and occasionally flirts with late ‘70s New Wave experimentation. But as far as creating satire through music, Jay seems less like Richman and more akin to Jens Lekman or Arthur Russell, with a saccharine innocence and rare emotional vulnerability. This veneer of youth and optimism fits swimmingly into the K Records Magna Carta, which proclaims that K “explodes the teenage underground into passionate revolt against the corporate ogre world-wide.”

In response to the age-old question asked of many a romantic poet: that is, whether his inspiration comes from real life love, or an imagined vision of love, Jay gives an obscure answer. Actually, he doesn’t answer the question at all; instead, he sticks to the coda of mystery that has gotten him this far: “I think most people are this way. If they are sentimental then they are sentimental.”

It’s a fitting answer from a daydreamer who chooses not to explore well-worn territory and instead walks on air, gallops through moonbeams, and chases monsoons over the dunes.

- Amity Bacon

 



10/25/12
Constructing Fantasy at Beacon Arts Building

http://riseindustries.org/arkv/3454

Constructing Fantasy at Beacon Arts Building
posted by Jeremy on 2012.10.25, under art, review
Photography and text courtesy of Rise Industries

A few months back (yes I am really slow with posting these days) we caught the closing reception of Constructing Fantasy at the Beacon Arts Building curated by the BAB director, Renée Fox – a really fantastic local sculpture show, in a space which has been doing a lot of fantastic things. Sadly, Renée told us that the gallery will be closing (by the time I got around to posting this it has closed) – though the studios throughout the rest of the building will of course remain. Perhaps another art space will move in there, and I hope Renée and the team behind the shows will continue to put on shows at some other venue. I only made it to a handful of the shows over there at Beacon Arts, but always found something I liked. This one in particular had a lot to like.

Vesuvius, Travis Novak (in background)
The Spirit, The Breath, The Flesh, Larissa James (foreground)



The Spirit, The Breath, The Flesh, Larissa James



Untitled #14, Jefferey Hastings (in background)



Welcome to the Jungle, Larissa James



The Universe is Inside of You, Larissa James



06/01/12
CalArts MFA MMXII Graduate Exhibition

CAL/ARTS MFA GRADUATE EXHIBITION
Curated by Catherine Taft
June 01–23, 2012 L.A. Mart, Lower Level
Monday–Saturday, 12pm–5pm

Opening Reception
Friday, June 01   6–10pm

Closing Reception
Saturday, June 23   6–10pm

L.A. Mart
1933 S. Broadway,Suite 409
Los Angeles, CA 90007

For parking and other information please visit:  http://www.calarts2012.com

Support from
Art Platform - Los Angeles
ARTRA Curatorial

The CalArts MFA class of 2012 is delighted to invite you to the opening reception of our Graduate Exhibition on Friday, June 1st, 2012, from 6-10 pm at the LA Mart in Downtown, Los Angeles.

The exhibition includes works by thirty-five MFA students from the programs in Art, Photography & Media, and Art & Technology:
Shagha Ariannia, Daniel Axe, Larissa Brantner James, Johanna Breiding, James Brush, Krista Buecking, Akina Cox, Malene Dam (in collaboration with Heather M. O’Brien), Danielle Dean, Gracie DeVito, Sean C. Flaherty, Patrick Flood, Andrea Franco, David Gutierrez, Anitra Haendel, Mary Hill, Guiyoung Hwang, Joshua Logan, Alexander Meadows, Robbie Nock, Joni Noe, Tyler Matthew Oyer, Sarah Petersen, Mary Rasmussen, Kari Reardon, Christopher Reynolds, Nick Rodrigues, Daney Saylor, Rowan Smith, Jonathan Takahashi, Benjamin Tong, Liz Toonkel, Ariane Vielmetter, Esther Pearl Watson, and Joseph Zorrilla.

We are very pleased to be working with Catherine Taft, a Los Angeles-based curator, writer, and critic, in organizing the exhibition and its accompanying catalog. The catalog will be available at the opening reception, and will feature essays by seven emerging writers and by members of the CalArts faculty. We are excited to be taking over LA Mart’s sprawling concourse level, home to last September’s artist-run project space, CO/LAB, at ArtPlatform.

Catherine Taft is a project specialist at the Getty Research Institute and was recently named a directing member of Human Resources, Los Angeles. She is co-editing the forthcoming book Double Issue: A Document of the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival and has contributed to a number of exhibition catalogs. Her writing is regularly featured in several publications, including Artforum, ArtReview, and Modern Painters.

The exhibition is made possible by Art Platform, Los Angeles and ARTRA Curatorial. LA Mart is located at 1933 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90007. The exhibition will be open to the public Monday through Saturday from 12-5 pm, June 1st - June 23rd. There will be a closing reception on Saturday, June 23rd, from 6-10 pm. Refreshments will be served, and validated parking will be available during the opening and closing receptions. You can visit our website at http://www.calarts2012.com to preview works in the exhibition. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

We look forward to seeing you there!



04/01/12
CALARTS MFA2 THESIS SOLO SHOW “Ab Ovo” APRIL 9TH-13TH

CALARTS MFA2 THESIS SOLO SHOW
SHOW TITLE: “AB OVO”
ARITST: LARISSA BRANTNER JAMES

Gallery D301 April 9th-13th
OPENING THURSDAY, APRIL 12TH @ 8PM
24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, CA 91355

North on 5 Freeway, exit right on McBean Parkway, turn right into first driveway on the right.
Please text me at (323)632-4249 with any questions!

In “Ab Ovo”, I utilize sculpture to transform tangible objects into a representational fiction and depict a warped mythology. Taking on the style of classic Greco Roman marble sculptures with a nod to trompe l’oeil technique, the work refers to Janus, the ancient Roman god of beginnings and transitions. “Ab Ovo” is latin for “in the beginning”, “the origin”, or “the egg” and the show speaks of complimentary, as well as contradictory, concepts of life and death within a meditational, zen garden space.

As an artist I act as god within a sacred space. Labor and imperfections are evident. I cast my face, arms, and hands into the work and position my ghostly dismembered form within cyclical fountains.  The work resembles sculptures from ancient times, which have been broken in times of war, stolen, collected, and restored by the institution of the museum. My life-cast body parts are violently truncated, punctured, stacked and replicated within the work. Surfaces reveal finger prints, drips, cracks, and dents. “Ab Ovo” creates a dream landscape with 3D forms of wishing wells, sacred totems, a mythical mountain and a hybrid creature. The work compares a contemporary art space with an ancient, traditional religious space.




02/10/11
CALARTS MFA1 Solo Show “Investment Process”            MARCH 10TH, 7PM-11PM

I am excited to invite you all to my first year MFA solo show at CalArts. Champagne and hors d’œuvres will be served. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. Simple driving directions are as follows: North on the 5 Freeway, exit right on McBean Parkway, turn right into the first driveway on the right.

INVESTMENT PROCESS
LARISSA BRANTNER JAMES
MARCH 10TH @ 7-11PM
MINT GALLERY @ CALARTS
24700 MCBEAN PARKWAY, VALENCIA, CA 91355

“Investment Process” is a multi-media installation that includes photographs, video projections, and sculpture. The work explores how culture constructs pleasure through industry and production. The show addresses issues of commodity, commerce, and a societal desire to posses and collect objects. The show title questions how an art object is imbued with value, a creation process that is conducted by multiple members of the industrial world and art world.

I would be honored to see you there!



08/01/09
BURJ DUBAI FOUNTAIN - CHOREOGRAPHY!

WET Design water feature, Burj Dubai Fountain located at the foot of the Burj Dubai tower, choreographed to the song, Ishtar Poetry. Principle designer, Claire Kahn, and I worked together programming this show in Dubai during the month of August, 2009. Thousands of lines of code control the animatronics. I shot the film from the control booth and layered the audio over it, so you can see reflections in the window. It’s my favorite. Enjoy!