He was hyperventilating, being underwater and thinking of how far out from the coast they were. His friend took his hand and nodded to look down. Jeremy saw the ground and tried to calm himself down. Suddenly, realization that “the ground” was moving closer brought another wave of panic. They were whale watching, and the whale was watching them. She came up, a female Humpback whale, and just like them, she “stood” there with her head up and tail down just a few feet away. How do you look someone in the eye, when the eye is bigger that your head?
Jeremy should have felt terror. Instead, he felt that calmness overcame him. He felt connected, knowing that this colossal animal, the ocean, himself are one. And looking at his artwork, I feel this connection, too.
New York-based artist Jeremy Silva’s artwork can be described in many different ways:
glass sculptures, living eco-systems, recreated memories, sculptural seascapes, 3-D paintings… you can go on, if you have imagination. Have fun! In order to let you enjoy and be creative, Jeremy doesn’t name his works and never defines them, unless asked to describe what its elements are and what they represent. And to him, they represent his childhood, which he spent on the Big Island on Hawai’i, surrounded by streams of lava pouring from the Kilauea volcano, black and white sand beaches, and the majestic ocean with its many living creatures.
Since early age, Jeremy was exposed to art, though not man-made. Look at his glass sculptures! The colors are inspired by the coloration and chroma of Hawaiian greenery, ocean water, burning lava, the sky illuminated by the rising sun and the famous Hawaiian sunset.
His artistic journey began unexpectedly six years ago. Jeremy’s husband, interior designer Santiago Tomas, asked him for a terrarium as his birthday present. Jeremy created one using a designer-made glass container suitable for the purpose. Enjoying the process and an opportunity to re-connect with nature, he continued working. His creations were beautiful, magical even, where plants, stones and sand brought a little piece of nature into a home; and they became popular. His client-base grew and with demand grew the amount of time Jeremy spent working on this project. His days, his thoughts, his dreams were occupied by thinking of the next artwork, wanting to make something different and even more exciting. But his choices for glass element for his compositions were limited, colorless, and Jeremy quickly grew bored, and with that he felt an urge to make his own.
He had no experience, no formal training working with glass, no art education; however, that never even was his preoccupation. Like a driven entrepreneur, who dives into a start-up and then quickly tries to adapt, learn, and swim to the top, Jeremy started by looking for experienced glassblowers.
He built a small team of craftsmen, who since then have been working with him on every sculpture using their extensive expertise with this fickle material and letting Jeremy be the magician-conductor during the 5-hour work day at Brooklyn Glass, when he rents the entire studio. There, recreating his childhood playground, he gets in the zone, fascinated and excited by hot lavalike glass that he forms and cuts into the shape of a Humpback whale, his never-ending inspiration. Afterwards, he adds an arrangement of natural materials like driftwood, black sand, and Bulbosa air plants that blow life into the new creation, and, just like in Greek mythology, the sculpture becomes alive, emanating love and reverence for nature, transmitting the artist’s admiration for life’s manifestations and celebrating being one with it.
Listening to Jeremy’s exciting account about
his work and his passion for each
individual artwork, I understood that he
found what many of us are looking for – the purpose, that what makes one happy. But he has no intentions to stop here. “I want to continue experimenting with size, form, color and to keep on pushing the limits of the material. Hopefully, until the day I die,” says the artist.
One other big inspiration is Madonna, whose music is his constant driving force and companion in the studio and in life, since his boyhood. “She’s given me so much inspiration and strength thru hermusic. She is my ultimate muse! Always changing and evolving.”
connect with Jeremy Silva