October 18, 2008 in Voices

Imagination drives tattoo artist, painter Jeremy Bevers

Jennifer LaRue
 
J. BART RAYNIAK photo

Jeremy Bevers is an airbrush and tattoo artist. His look reflects his work. He calls his style graffiti mixed with traditional. “I’ve always been fascinated with the human skull,” he said. “In the beginning you get life and in the end you end up in a pile of bones in the ground.”
(Full-size photo)

Art quote of the week

“I don’t want to produce a work of art that the public can sit and suck aesthetically … I want to give them a blow in the small of the back, to scorch their indifference, to startle them out of their complacency.”

Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007), writer and director

Contact

E-mail Jeremy Bevers at Bever138@yahoo.com.

Jeremy Bevers is an unconventional kind of guy.

At first glance one might think “punk.” He is pierced and tattooed. But speak with him and look at his artwork and a new opinion is likely to form – Bevers has no fear and no qualms about expressing himself.

Bevers, 28, was born in El Cajon, Calif., and, at 6 he moved to Moses Lake. His father exposed him to “old skool” cartooning, and his brother drew portraits. About five years ago, Bevers’ brother offered him a place to stay in Spokane. He moved to the area and apprenticed as a tattoo artist.

A professional tattoo artist and body piercer, Bevers wants to make things permanent. “I want to leave a permanent mark,” he said, “My goal also is to build a well-respected tattoo and body piercing shop and hand it down to my kids. I dedicate what I do to them.”

What Bevers does is give freedom to his imagination. He will often spend months on a tattoo design and, when he paints, he will sit in front of the canvas until a design presents itself. “I rarely have a preset design in mind, I just draw what I see,” he said, “It’s all on a whim.”

When he paints, he uses an airbrush which he first used when he was 17. His style is graffiti – bold lines and vibrant colors often found in urban areas where dull gray structures are the norm – mixed with some traditional elements.

His pieces are full of voice and mind-bending designs, including his realistic-looking heart with wings and his piece titled “Candy on the Brain,” which he painted on a white sheet stretched on a handmade frame. It illustrates a robot coming out of a genie’s bottle, a woman, a large eyeball and organic animalistic shapes.

He paints on whatever he can find – canvas, old skateboards, scrap wood or the hood of a friend’s car. He also does wood carving, leather work, writes songs and plays bass. In Seattle, he played in a band called Anti-Everything.

He admits that he named the band and that the “Everything” might include authority. As a freelance tattoo artist and piercer, he does guest spots in shops in the area and out of town, dictating his own hours as well as rules.

Bevers has never shown his paintings, woodcarvings or leather work, though he has sold and traded a few. His Spokane Valley home serves as a gallery where his creations are displayed.

A beautiful piece featuring a koi fish hangs over a window and curious black and white abstracts hang over a couch. In the basement, unfinished pieces are stored, including a piece called “Harvesting Women” and a war themed “protest type piece.”

Bevers often incorporates bones and skulls into his work and adds life to the pieces with movement and lively hues. “When I’m doing my work, I escape from everything,” he said, “I envelope myself in the work and set everything else aside.”

The Verve is a weekly feature celebrating the arts. If you know an artist, dancer, actor, musician, photographer, band or singer, contact correspondent Jennifer LaRue by e-mail jlarue99@hotmail.com.


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