The personality of Jeremy Fish might remind Tim Burton fans of Big Fish character Edward Bloom.
Just as Bloom employed myths, symbols, and magical characters to reveal the story of his life to his son, the San Francisco artist and illustrator, whose name is a coincidence but who counts the Burton film as one of his favorites, conjures a fantastic world where bears, dogs, and birds interact in allegories of what Fish sees around him.
A man of few words and a thousand images, Fish has a hearty appetite for life, a restless curiosity, and a fearless passion that have driven his 20-year career. The native New Yorker moved to SF in the ’90s at age 20, and upon graduating from the SF Art Institute, he set out to interpret the city and its people, and to proliferate civic art, through public paintings that could only stem from his wholly originally mind. You can see the North Beach resident’s work throughout the neighborhood, including outside of Tony's Pizza Napoletana: “The Tony's Pizza mural was inspired by a comparison between Italian and San Franciscan culture and historic landmarks. I traded Tony free pizza for life in exchange for this artwork. My wife and I live next door," Fish says.
Now 41, Fish was selected by the SF Arts Commission to be City Hall’s first artist in residence, with the prestigious assignment to create 100 drawings that celebrate the centennial of the city’s architectural grande dame. Opening on November 19, “O Glorious City” is sure to be a vivid representation of Fish’s well-honed perceptions of City Hall and Bay Area life and people, including such local icons as the Brown twins, legendary columnist Herb Caen, and the famous eccentric Emperor Norton.
“It was a wonderful opportunity, to celebrate a very important San Francisco landmark, that proved to be very challenging," Fish admits. "It was an honor and a pleasure really. I had a great summer in my office at SF City Hall. I am truly grateful to the San Francisco Arts Commission for creating this project for me." // sillypinkbunnies.com