Jeremy Silva, is a talented New York-based sculptor. His artwork can be described in a multitude of ways: glass sculptures, living eco-systems, recreated memories, sculptural seascapes, or even three-dimensional paintings. They are inspired by the hues + forms of his childhood in Hawaii. To allow for optimal creative interpretation, Jeremy does not name nor define his works.
Location: Manhattan, New York
1. Beverage of choice?
I love Iced Black Tea Lemonades.
2. What are you best known for?
3. How did we meet?
4. How did you get here?
I was born + raised on the Big Island of Hawaii in a large Catholic family. Because I was gay, I struggled with a lot of bullying + religious guilt. To escape it all, I would venture into nature to hide +be alone. It was my way of finding peace. Very naturally, I realized how everything around us is connected + alive, everything was conscious to me. Because of this connection I felt, I started to see how we were/are treating the planet in the wrong ways. I saw how we just take, take, take, without love or understanding of everything's role in our environment. I could see how, for me, religion poisons our minds +views of the world in so many ways that I can't even write here.
I knew from a young age that one day, I would figure out a way to share with the world how I saw +experienced these things. I've always loved music, especially Madonna. She is like a mother +muse to me in so many ways. She gave me the strength + courage to get through a lot of things. Her story on moving to NYC + becoming this huge artist really inspired me. I would always dream that one day, I would move to NYC +be an artist just like her but in my own way to tell my story— + it all really happened for me. I moved to NYC in a very similar way 18 years ago + eventually became my own artist. I found my own voice in the world.
5. What are you compensated to do (job)?
I am a full-time contemporary artist.
6. What do you like to do?
I love giving in-person talks with people + inspiring them through my art + life stories. + I definitely love to spend time in my studio working!
7. Can you suggest a book?
My favorite book of all time is Christopher Hitchen’s God Is Not Great, How Religion Poisons Everything. It confirmed all of my own thoughts + views on religion in a way nothing had before.
8. What is the best lesson you have taught someone?
Not really sure I can say for sure if I have ever taught anyone a lesson. But if I did, I would hope it would be to open their eyes to the magic that is around them, to see that everything is conscious + deserves love + respect!
9. Where do you go to find inspiration?
Personally, I love to go back home to the Big Island of Hawaii for inspiration. The ocean, animals, plants + the volcanoes. It’s a very magical place for me.
10. Favorite city and why?
NYC of course! It's like the center of human culture. You can find every kind of person from every place on Earth doing all kinds of amazing things here. I love how driven people are here, it's not a place for the lazy. I am a very driven person, so I thrive on its energy! I have traveled the world + there is nowhere like it.
11. What is your fondest memory?
As an adult, meeting a female humpback whale eye-to-eye off the Kona Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. It changed my life + shows through all of my work! There was this incredibly old + ancient wisdom in her that I felt. She was as curious about me as I was about her. The story leading up to that meeting was simply magical, but I can't write about that here as it would be too long +needs to be told in person to fully understand.
12. What advice would you give to future generations?
Honestly, I don't think there will be that many future generations left. I feel we are destroying things faster than we will be able to save it all. But if there are future generations, I would say to treat the planet + everyone in it with as much love + respect as possible, that we are all connected to everything around us. I would also say that I am sorry my generation has left such a mess [laughs].
13. What would you tell your younger self?
That I did it, I was able to find that voice in the world I wanted so badly as a child.
14. Who mentored you and what did they teach you?
My best friend Jeff Zhu. If it were not for him, I would not be where I am today. He helped bring me to NYC from Hawaii right after 9/11 when I was basically homeless there (a very long story). He taught me so much about how to survive here + introduced me to so many things that I would have never found on my own. He literally showed me the world as he loved to travel + we went all over the place, from Argentina to China. Those experiences really made me who I am today + I will be forever grateful!
15. Message in a show or film that resonated with you. What was the film, what was the message?
Hmm, Madonna’s 2005 documentary, I'm Going To Tell You A Secret was very inspiring. For me, it was about finding your own voice/light in the world. About how we are all connected + how we need more love in the world.
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