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Artist Jeremy Fish on Climbing Inside J. Otto Seibold’s World




Hand drawn sketch by J. Otto Seibold. Photo by Jeremy Fish
Hand drawn sketch by J. Otto Seibold. Photo by Jeremy Fish
I discovered J. Otto Seibold's artwork many years ago through a holiday store display using his character Olive The Reindeer. At the time I was just out of art school with a degree from a strictly "fine arts" institution. I was struggling with what I wanted to do with my artwork. Illustration vs. painting. . . art galleries vs. commercial artwork. . . The idea that this artist's reindeer he created was making SO many more people, including myself, happy all over this big department store as opposed to being on the wall someplace in a gallery, or even in a children's book. I found it deeply inspiring that his drawings could translate onto many platforms, and affect a much larger audience. Technically, I felt his illustrations were very ahead of their time. A digital illustrator who was obviously using a computer to generate his art, but somehow kept the drawings very loose, organic, and gestural. This seemed very progressive to me then and now.


Hand drawn sketch by J. Otto Seibold. Photo by Jeremy Fish
Hand drawn sketch by J. Otto Seibold. Photo by Jeremy Fish
I have been looking forward to visiting his exhibition at The Contemporary Jewish  Museum. I wanted to see some of his original hand drawn sketches. I had the pleasure of seeing an exhibit of his at Mass Moca in North Adams years ago, and both shows were super inspiring. However the show at the Jewseum was super strong because I got to see his original sketches, a loose hand painted mural, and some of the stories behind his books. I especially enjoyed seeing his drawings made into three-dimensional sculptures.

Mural by J. Otto Seibold. Photo by Jeremy Fish
Mural by J. Otto Seibold. Photo by Jeremy Fish

A very big thanks to J. Otto, and The Contemporary Jewish Museum for giving me the opportunity to climb inside the imagination of this very talented illustrator.

J. Otto Seibold and Mr. Lunch is on view through March 8, 2015.






About Jeremy Fish

Jeremy Fish courtesy of sillypinkbunnies
Jeremy Fish courtesy of sillypinkbunnies
With a degree in painting and a focus in screenprinting Jeremy Fish's education and work experience has lead to a career as a fine artist and commercial illustrator. Fish finds a balance between exhibiting his work across the US and internationally in galleries and museums while designing skateboards, t-shirts, vinyl toys, album covers, periodical illustrations, murals, and sneakers. His artwork is mainly about storytelling and communication, told through a library of characters and symbols, with an emphasis on finding a balance with the imagery somewhere between all things cute and creepy. Jeremy is based in North Beach and has lived in San Francisco for the last 20 years. Read more about and by Fish on his websites sillypinkbunnies.com and jeremyfish.wordpress.com.


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