Jeremy Martin was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1988. In 2015, Jeremy started painting celebrity portraits on his iPad using the Sketches and ProCreate applications. Over the last three years, Jeremy developed his own unique technique painting over 280 portraits of celebrities who inspired him through their music, fashion, or legacy such as Prince, the Pope, Queen Elizabeth, and RuPaul, to name a few. He’s been acknowledged by celebrities such as Prince, David Bowie, Patricia Field, IMAN, Aretha Franklin, RuPaul, and Iris Apfel. In 2016, Jeremy was commissioned by supermodel IMAN to create a portrait celebrating her 60th birthday. Over the last two years, Apple has featured Jeremy’s artwork in their Today At Apple programming—his last live art show in August 2018 featured fashion icon Iris Apfel and The University of Texas, learning the basics of painting on iPad.
My painting process is fluid, personal, and involves doing what feels right in the moment. I decide which celebrities to paint based on their influence on me or someone I have admired for years, or someone currently in the headlines. Over the last three years, I have developed a signature technique of painting portraits from reference pictures on iPad Pro, using the ProCreate and Sketches applications. My approach involves identifying the many shapes within a person’s face, hair, or outfit and giving them unique shades of color. For example, a nose or forehead can be divided into multiple complex shapes and colors. I would describe my artwork as a combination of Cubism and Pop Art—think Pablo Picasso shapes and Andy Warhol colors.
I’ve always been fascinated with the utility, movement and strength of human hair. This obsession with hair led me to horsehair, a material both functional and poetic: used by ancient civilizations for adornment and craft, epic and folkloric in association, evocative of the majesty of wild horses running free in nature. The horsehair tells a story—the strength of the animal it belongs to is transmitted to the wearer. Bound by leather, the horsehair is given shape and function, creating jewelry that is enigmatic and untamed.