Jeremy Novy installation at TOM House

Saint Sebastian, 2016

For the past eighteen years, Jeremy Novy has utilized stenciled street art to explore social and political issues. Novy has two intentions for his stencils: first, he creates public works that make his city a better place to live by bringing a bit of the arts to everyone, regardless of income or background. Seeing problems such as abandoned telephone booths and boarded up buildings, he creates artful solutions by overlaying stenciled posters onto the disused objects giving them new life. His second intention is to bring gay imagery into the homophobic subculture of street artists by covering hateful and distasteful graffiti in our communities. Novy wants the gay street artist community to flourish and not be bullied or afraid to express themselves with their artwork.

Novy states that “street art itself is a dominantly male heterosexual community; being out of the closet is not accepted”. Gay street artists have been assaulted, their art supplies stolen or damaged, and their works covered up. He would like to see everyone’s artwork—not just the heterosexual males who dominates the street art subculture—have an opportunity to be seen and appreciated. In response to these concerns, he curated the world’s first group queer street art exhibit in 2011 called “A History of Queer Street Art” which premiered in San Francisco to critical acclaim. The exhibit was funded in part by a grant from National Endowment for the Arts. Since its premiere, the exhibit has traveled to Pop Up Gallery in Los Angeles, California and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. This exhibit documents the struggle of international gay, straight, bi, trans, male and female artists and their use of adhesive stickers and posters to bring attention to the queer struggle for acceptance worldwide.

Novy has an associate’s degree in graphic design and a BFA in photography from Pecks School of the Arts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His unique stencils of legendary drag queens, gay pulp and local talent and koi can be spotted all over the United States and were responsible for netting him a showcase at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He was also flown to Milwaukee to stencil the Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer mansion. He currently has been traveling America painting koi coast to coast, including stops in Jeremy NovyJeremy Novy9 major cities during a 2013 tour. Jeremy’s stencils have benefited non-profit foundations, advocacy organizations, and community service programs, and have been featured in books, magazines, newspapers, museum archives, private collections and in film.

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