We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeremy Novy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeremy, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
Great Spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. Albert Einstein I found this quote about 12 years ago when I was being faced with a graffiti charge for one of my life size stencils of a San Francisco drag queen. (Lady Bear) I found it a very inspiring quote because Einstein was and inventor and creator of a new world we had not yet seen. People did not believe in his inventions and looked at him as a crazy kook. We as artist also are inventions with ideas to create a new world. But not everyone sees creativity as a valid way of building a city.. The ‘violent opposition’ in this quote can simply be the guy yelling ‘you are crazy for thinking that way’. And I have had several people yell at me for painting my now iconic koi stencils over the years. Yet today they request and commission the very same koi stencil. Don’t Give Up!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Jeremy Novy’s unique brand of street art is ripe with thoughtful social examinations. Novyhas combated a homophobic lack of representation with a celebration of gay iconography, bringing joviality and warmth to disused urban spaces. With a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, he curated the first major exhibition of its kind, “A History of Queer Street Art,” premiered in San Francisco in 2011 and later toured to Pop Up Gallery in Los Angeles and Yale University. Since graduating from Pecks School of the Arts, Novy’s art has been met with acclaim across the country. His work has benefited non-profit foundations, advocacy organizations, and community service programs and has been featured in numerous films, books, publications, and collections public and private. His stencil work is cogent in its messaging and remarkably complex for its compositional simplicity—like the koi fish of his most-established series which, floating beneath the surface of concrete, refer to anti-authoritarian coded symbols in Chinese art under communism. His pioneering images of drag queens, physique pictorials, and pornography bring to life the multiplicity of modern identity, reminding us that the we, each of us, must walk the streets of our cities in collective solidarity
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hard to say given our current state of the pandemic.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I was inspired by books like. Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art And by artist lectures from Nicolas Lambert and Nato Thompson in early 2000 to make interventional art for everyone to see. Not just the museums and galleries but by 100% of the demographic of any given city with street art.
Other: Many urban spots across North America.