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Art & Life with Jupp Soetebier

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jupp Soetebier.

Jupp, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
In 1995, I was on my way. I had just come off years as a crazy active member of the South Beach art scene in Miami and arrived in NYC with ‘plans’. Then, for reasons that are my own, I stopped exhibiting. I found work as a faux finish with some big-shot companies in the city, scribbled in my sketchbooks, and scratched some meaningless marks on canvas, but for the most part I told no-one I made my own work.

After bouncing between LA and NYC a couple times, I finally gave New York the finger in 2001 and decided to make my final stand in California. By this time, I was managing various bars and restaurants in Hollywood you’ve probably heard of… it paid the bills. In the summer of 2017, I went into my studio and destroyed every work I had made since 1995 and started over.

Since September 2017 I’ve finished nearly 100 works on canvas, joined art associations in both southern and northern California, and am exhibiting again with more than a little fire in my saddle. Am I reborn? Yes. How this happened I’ll tell you later when we get to know each other better. For lack of a better term, I call myself a ‘re-emerging’ artist. Like a kid who has been suddenly gifted with the wisdom of his much older self.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am my memories and nothing at all.

My work is an epiphenomenal result of a lifelong investigation into thought and how memory shapes my Now. What is remembered, what is forgotten, what is a fabrication, and what is a lie? Each layer I create on the canvas is its own mental fragment made tangible, exposed to the world for celebration, modification, or annihilation.

At some point in the creation process I sit down and ask the piece a few questions. Are you being clever? Do you excite me? Are you beautiful? Are you terrifying? Do you answer a question? Do you raise questions? Have I seen you before? Answer incorrectly and I’ll paint over you. If it goes well, I apply one last stage I call The Veil of Consciousness and the work in complete. See that semi-opaque surface layer of dripping white paint? That’s the Veil.

I’ve been compulsively motivated to create since before I could string words together. At times this impulse is euphoric, other times it’s a curse. I love to destroy as much as I love to create and it shows. I am forever delightfully unsatisfied and eternally curious.

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
This art thing we do can be a cruel addiction. There are so many boss level monsters in your way it’s easy to become distracted and lose faith. Crushing student debt, sky-high rent, parental disapproval, on and on… Advice is cheap and mostly bullshit, so here’s all I’ll say:

Surround yourself with creative people that share your passion and drive. That’s it.

Go to openings, hang out at museums, attend lectures, join a co-op, form your own guild, get involved in pop-up shows… these things you can do at little or no cost. Take solace in the knowledge that Los Angeles is the most vibrant city on the planet for visual artists. OK, if you’ve got to bartend to keep the AC on, so be it. Just make art. Do it every chance you get.

Oh, and self-promote like there’s no tomorrow. Keep a sketchbook on you and pictures of your latest work in your iPhone at all times. Show your work to anyone and everyone willing to look.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can see my work anytime on my personal website, Instagram, and Ello. I’ve got some pieces permanently up in a guild gallery in Sonoma and I occasionally enter shows at the Los Angeles Art Association. If you’re a gallery owner or an independent gallerist/curator and think you can move my work… heck, if you just dig my vision and want something for your home, reach out to me.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All images Jupp Soetebier

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