THE WORK OF JÉRÉME CROW IS DIFFICULT TO PIN DOWN . IT ’ S ECLECTIC , DIFFERENT , IT TAKES INSPIRATION FROM ALL TYPES OF PEOPLE , PLACES , EARLIER ART , THE IMAGINATION … IT IS EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE , AND IT IS REALLY RATHER WONDERFUL . WE SPOKE TO JÉRÉME ABOUT HIS WORK , HOW HE MANAGES IT ALL , AND HIS NEWEST EXHIBITION IN FOLKESTONE .
How would you describe your art ?
I am a painter and maker based in Kent . My work explores biography and portraiture , repetition , temporality , time and memories through the manipulation and invention of narrative .
What about your background ? What did you do before you became an artist ?
I have always been compelled to be creative and to make art . It isn ’ t always the best way of making a living and being an artist has meant I have needed to have lots of extra jobs to help pay the bills , such as a factory worker , delivery driver , chef ( at the Little Chef ), boat builder , classroom assistant , and more .
What made you want to be an artist ?
From as early as I can remember I have always loved creating , making and building . Growing up , my mother was creative – painting , flower arranging , jam-making , pickling , preserving , and gardening . My father was practical and technical being a bomb disposal expert in the army and also a proficient DIY car mechanic . I must have inherited some of these attributes .
Who or what inspires you ?
My art is a kind of reflex to how I experience the world . It is my way of interpreting , recording and responding to everyday life . Because of this I work spontaneously and my art can have an impulsive feel to it . It ’ s my favourite way of working and I don ’ t like to plan too far in advance – if at all .
Many artists stick to one medium , one type or art , but you create still life , landscapes , figurative work , sculpture and film . Why is this ?
It probably goes back to being a child ( or never growing up ) where you are just as happy digging in the sand on the beach , squelching clay figures , or sploshing poster paints . I don ’ t really see a need to divide disciplines and like to experiment as much as possible in a project . Often I will bring together different mediums such as making small sculptures which I can then use as the subject for a painting . I find video recording is very useful , especially as a preliminary medium to build up a back story for a narrative .
What is your favourite kind of art to create ?
I love experimenting with different making processes but ultimately always come back to painting . Painting in oils is very much my passion . At the moment I am painting portraits
using museum tweets as a source material , interacting with artworks to create a translation which returns the subject to an image rendered in paint .
I am concerned with the techniques and craftsmanship of familiar paintings and how the secondary image reproduced in digital media omits the artists ’ labour . By translating these images into paint I am able to explore the original artist ’ s creation to develop an intimate relationship with their painting process . My response in paint comes between the work and the viewer continuing a conversation with art history .