Michigan artist Jeremy Ian Harvey is known for his wildly colorful paintings, life-size sculptures and magnificent murals that can be found around town at places like Display Group, The Beer Grotto and Royale With Cheese.
See his work in “Ghost The World,” a special exhibition June 8 at The Hidden Gate Gallery in Easter Market. Combining new work and a retrospective from the ast three years, the program is from 7-11 p.m. on Saturday, June 8.
For more information on the artist, please check out his artist page at: https://www.facebook.com/Jeremyianharveyart/.
This exhibit is deeply personal to the artist who has become a full-time caregiver to his wife and daughter for the past few years. Each of them have multiple health conditions. The most prominent with his wife is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (a genetic degenerative disorder that affects your connective tissue that causes joint dislocations, severe arthritis, intestinal disorders and often coexisting conditions). EDS is an extremely rare disease so it doesn’t get a lot of funding for research.
The couple’s ten year old daughter has had complications since soon after her conception. It was a very traumatic pregnancy, so many things went wrong and so many other things after. The child has autism, cerebral palsy and EDS as well. She had a regression five years ago which has made her non-verbal. Her last diagnosis was a condition called excitable catatonia which does the exact opposite of what catatonic behavior is. She is constantly in motion, she never relaxes or focuses on one thing for too long and her energy is boundless and endless.
The round the clock care-giving made it impossible to hold a regular job, so the artist relied on various commercial art jobs and mural work to provide for the family. About three years ago the complications at home became too much to leave the house and Jeremy devoted his time to creating fine art in his home studio. After a year he had an artistic breakthrough with his work that came from a breaking point with the depression, stress and anxiety of the situation.
“After a year of experimenting with techniques I had one of the biggest artistic revelations I’ve had in almost 30 years.” he says,“I had desperately needed to change the way I was painting. I was putting so much focus on details often spending hours on one tiny spot. I loved what I was doing but the constant bombardment of stress, anxiety and depression was life encompassing. Inside my head was non stop downward intrusive thought spirals and instead of my art helping me cope, all the over analyzing was adding fuel to that fire. I felt no good for myself and no good for my family.” Harvey says of the trying time. “Soon, through a lot of trial and error, I taught myself enough new bells and whistles that a whole new kind of style emerged. Everything now is very splashy with lots of color washes and loose brush strokes.” He went on to produce five art shows in two years with various themes such as clowns, party pics, David Bowie and even a tribute show to his wife Kristen.
“Ghost The World” features paintings selected from the previous five shows along with a whole new body of work. The theme for this new work is it’s size format as the new pieces are all going to be very large, between four to six feet tall in scale. The artist says of the new show, “I want to pull every trick up my sleeve to transform the venue with my mural work. It’s going to be very over the top and by far the most challenging. I’m about as excited as I can physically be for this one and It’ officially starts now.”
Hidden Gate Gallery is located at 1353 Division St. in Eastern Market in Detroit. Click here to visit online.