3 is a magic number – featured artist Jimmer Willmott

I love Jimmer’s crazy work.  He is one of the four organisers (along with Jemma, Guts and Diff) of the 3 is a Magic Number exhibition at the Ropewalk pub in Bristol (on till 14 April).

In a recent Bristol radio interview Jemma commented that Jimmer’s work was ‘like the inside of his head put on a canvas.  It’s weird, it’s crazy, it’s funny – it just makes you smile’.

Let me introduce you to the pop surrealist Jimmer Willmott.

Jimmer’s studied Drawing and Applied Arts at the University of the West of England’, but he says that it is only now that he is finding his style.  He says the last few years have been a massive journey for him. ‘I’ve been involved in loads of art shows met some amazing like minded people, bought a narrow boat as a home and art studio.
It’s been fun.’

He continues ‘This time has been filled with loads of sporadic pot holed moments of ups and downs, all of which have been massive learning experiences.  Above all else I’ve been trying to uphold a quality control project I set myself, to always work hard as I can, to spend every minute I can behind the paint brush practicing and most importantly improve as a painter.’

Jimmer’s work is very much in the now with a nod to the past.  He highlights the influencers of this work as Dali and Warhol as well as more contemporary artists Greg seriously Simpkins and Richard J Oliver.  He added he is also a massive fan of Robert Williams.

He says he does not get excited by the normal.  ‘It needs to be off key, it needs to be weird, it needs to be daft, off the wall’.  His first piece in the show was also influenced by a piece he has sent off recently to the Bedford Gallery California – ‘American Sweetheart.’

Jimmer American Sweetheart

He said that most artists will do a painting of Marilyn Monroe at some point.  But it wasn’t her that interested him (he hasn’t seen any of her films).  He said ‘I like smurfs and donuts more than I like Marilyn Monroe – I wanted to pay homage to the comic books, to the darkness, to the outsider.’  

Like American Sweetheart it was the title that came to him first about his piece for 3 is a Magic Number –  ‘Breakfast on Tiffany’.  And similarly he said ‘I like Garfield and sausage and eggs more than I like Audrey Hepburn – she doesn’t mean anything to me.  I want to strip it down, to make it obvious, to cheapen it.’

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So, it is the titles that come first and then the artwork.  His next piece he loved doing – ‘Eye will be missing you up there’.  He said ‘You know you’ve painted a good picture when it just goes from A-Z with no hardship – when the painting just rolls off the paintbrush’ and added that when it works so well he felt a bit sad at the end that the process had finished.

Eye will be missing you up there

It wasn’t quite the same when painting his smallest A5 piece for the show –  ‘Old Pink Eyes Is Back’.  ‘That was difficult as it was such a small painting to get the level of detail in that I wanted’.  He added that each painting is different – ‘With some paintings it’s like a chess game – you don’t know where it is going next’

Pink eyes is back in town

 

Jimmer wants to be taken seriously as a painter ‘with an attention to detail but yet the subject of my work to be daft weird and yet bright, and not to be taken seriously at all!’

He adds: ‘I was stuck for quite some time lost in a sea of broad subject matter which also meant that I had a bit of a vague style.  I feel like I’m finally as the cusp now landing on both feet on the floor, finally starting to present an indulgent body of weird, bright & humorous paintings.’

We agree Jimmer and look forward to watching out for this emerging Bristol artist.

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