I am in the NY Times
Bailout: Brooklyn, NY
6' L x 8' W x 10' H
This project was born in September 2008. It was a critical moment in the Great Recession. The government introduced its $700 billion dollar bailout, marking the end of a promising start for me as an emerging artist. I had just mounted my first solo show, I was winning competitions and had just been paid for my first commission. Then the economy melted. The phrases Bailout, Stimulus Package and Golden Parachute became ubiquitous. These phrases poured through my studio speakers, flooding my mind with their incongruous connotations of perverted sexual acts. This somehow steered my thoughts toward fantasies of flying golden boats, flesh, fat cats and conspicuous consumption.
This project is my bailout. With no pressing deadlines for shows or commissions I had no choice but to respond to these events that were beyond my control but plainly affecting my career. Bailout: Brooklyn, NY is a fantastical sculpture and an appropriately complex reaction to the mess that spawned it. The project kept me employed for 15 months. The work was completed in January 2010, a time when the studio speakers were desperately predicting a brighter future. The exhibition of this work brings this project full circle, effectively bailing me out.
Bailout: Brooklyn, NY came to be organized into three phases. Phase 1 is The Vessel, the boatbuilding phase. I reproduced a Catspaw Dingy at half scale. It began with a couple of books and a bandsaw and became an opulent gold vessel. Documented in a short video here
But to achieve the ultimate bailout potential, the boat would have to fly, thus Phase 2: Test Flight. I assembled a crew and brought my gold HoverBoat® to the studio roof and let her go! From these photos and a little clever post-processing, I made a series of large digital prints of the vessel Bailout sailing the skies of Brooklyn. The flight was a success as documented here
These are available as signed and numbered large scale archival ink jet prints.
Phase 3 began when I imagined the crew of this vessel to be the Pirates of the Bailout. They don the mask of ordinary folk to hide their true gold faces. They are not so much nude as robed in abundant flesh. On watch in the crows nest is Fat Cat, not concerned so much with what lies ahead as licking his own ass. And so the sculpting of these figures cruising in their boat became Phase 3: Fat Cat and Gold-Faced Marauders. Check them out here
Jeremy Leichman received his MFA in Figurative Sculpture from the New York Academy of Art in 2007 and his BFA in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002. Since graduation, Jeremy has continued his artistic endeavors by working from his studio in East Williamsburg Industrial Park. In addition, he also teaches sculpting in clay from the live model, basic-intermediate drawing from observation, and life drawing at the 92nd St. Y in Manhattans Upper East Side as well as at the Educational Alliance on the Lower East Side.
Jeremys work is the product of his combined interests in furniture design and the dramatic possibilities of the human form. The resulting sculpture often uses architectural settings designed to provide an environment for his sculpted characters. Jeremys work ranges in scale from miniature to room sized installations.
2009 New York Academy of Art Summer Exhibition, New York, NY
2009 Four Figurative Artists Goldfish Gallery, Philadelphia PA
2008 A Show of Heads Limner Gallery, Hudson NY - Juried show, 2nd Prize
2008 Greenwich House Pottery New Faculty Show Greenwich House Pottery Gallery, New York, NY
2008 3rd Ward Spring Solo Show, SUITS Selected from hundreds of artists to receive a 3 month residency at 3rd Ward, $1000 grant, and a solo show, Brooklyn, NY