Jeffrey Plettinck is a visual artist living in Orlando, Florida. He is performing his work live Friday April 8th at Spacebar in Orlando as a part of the Heterochromia event (HERE). We sat down and chatted for a bit about his work, his part in the show, and the bond between music and art.
Can you give us a quick rundown of what’s gonna be going on at the show, without giving away too much?
I’m planning a six foot piece right now. It’s the largest work I’ve ever done. Trying to work in a direction to which this piece will evoke something from the crowd, will instill in them and leave them with something and hopefully they will be seen by the eyes and the eyes will see them.
In what ways are you being influenced by the theme that’s been set and the music of the bands?
I’ve been collaborating mostly with Timothy Eerie but I’ve been checking out the other bands, I’ve seen a couple of them already play, so I’m syncing up with that vibe. I’ve been playing a lot of Timothy Eerie’s new EP while I’m conceptualizing to try and sync that up and really adapt and grow with the flow of what they’re putting out. And working with them as both our concepts develop we come to a common point. I think that’s really crucial.
What are you gonna be doing with eyes?
So the theme is Heterochromia. The eyes are going to be the most prevalent and focused on. They’re going to be emerging from the background while everything else is going to recede. The eyes will advance, the gaze will be emitting outward.
“The vast variety of emotions that happens in ten minutes is really profound”
Have you done this kind of live show thing before?
This is definitely the first time I’ve done this kind of collaboration. I’m also developing animations that are going to be played alongside the performance of Timothy Eerie. I’m developing some thematic eye-oriented stuff that will blend with all of this. I’m actually using the textures from my paintings overlaid onto the animations so everything is just integrated. This is kind of a project I’ve been working on in my head for a long time, using these textures and my painting, so when I was doing game design I was actually using my textures on my 3d models to make them feel painted and physically crafted. Just like utilizing my physical medium in a digital world where these things can’t be created on a computer, creating a new blend fusion of physical and digital stuff.
One of the first things I noticed about your work was the focus on figures and faces, what is it that draws you to that element so much?
All of my portraits are friends. There’s always a personal connection tied to every piece. Faces change constantly. We change every single day. Even in a photoshoot where I take pictures of a friend, the vast variety of emotions that happens in like ten minutes is really profound! That’s what really interests me. The dynamic, constant change that we are going through and that our faces can express. But it’s so unconscious and it’s so difficult to be aware of it because of how quickly it happens, and how could we? We could have moments in lucidity but it’s very difficult to capture and be in that the whole time. I’d say that’s my main inspiration, and just the beauty in my friends. I feel really deeply inspired by them and I want to try and express the underlying beauty that I see in them and match the colors to that and everything.
“I’ve always really believed that music and art are so closely related. They necessitate one another.”
Do you go into a piece hoping to evoke something specific?
To some degree you’ve always got to be open to the process guiding you. But definitely my intentions are what I’m feeling. Number one it’s always going to be a reflection of my feelings. But next to that is my relationship with that person. I never want to just make it about me, but every piece is in some degree a self portrait. There’s bits of myself in all my friends and there’s bits of my friends in all of me.
What materials do you work with?
The three things I really use are acrylics, charcoal, and chalk pastels. Most of the time I do all my backgrounds in acrylic and then I’ll draw on top of them. I create a ground of color and usually you start to find forms that start to create themselves. Once I’ve created these grounds there’s definitely a phase where I have to look at it before I lay down any forms because it’s so formless that if the forms are not placed carefully they interrupt the flow. I’ve had pieces that have just gone totally amok because I wasn’t tuned into that. I’ve realized how important that is. Basically as I’m working on this I’m drawing concepts on the side and just taking an inner look at what I truly feel the expression wants to be. Especially if there’s a theme for a show, I have to put a lot of effort into trying to synthesize that.
How do you know when you’re done with that part of it?
When I see it reach a point where things are blending in a good way and once I start hitting the point where I’m a little reluctant to work more into it I can add the figures and the figures will inform any other changes that need to happen.
What are you looking forward to most about the show?
Just really excited to collaborate with all these awesome musicians. I’m really blown away by how much Timothy Eerie has grown since I saw them a year ago. It’s just really awesome to be collaborating with some friends through separate mediums ’cause I’ve always really believed that music and art are so closely related. They necessitate one another. If I can make work specifically designed for a live performance, I think that’s a really awesome fusion, [to] create that space with the visual component and bring more out of the entire atmosphere of what’s going on.
It’s gonna be awesome.
Check out more of Jeffrey’s work at his website! www.jeffplettinck.com