Jeremy was born in Paris, France in 1989 and diagnosed with autism at an early age. He did not discover his gift for painting until he was 24, when he began to communicate to his parents about the colorful abstract portraits he was painting in his dreams. As a young child, Jeremy’s interest in bright colors was obvious: he spent hours looking at brightly colored fabrics, images in picture books, and the patterns in rugs. He loved visiting museums to look at the paintings, and cathedrals to follow the patterns on the floor tiles. Jeremy had many sensory-motor and vision challenges including peripheral vision (side vision). He did not enjoy participating in art activities when younger. He did not like the feeling the texture of finger paint, did not have the motor coordination to move a paintbrush, or squeeze a tube of paint. However, he loved watching the colorful paints in the Art Spinner go round and round and develop into colorful paintings.
Jeremy’s parents were told to find an institution for him. Instead they moved to Berkshire, England and subsequently to San Diego, California in order to provide him with an education. Jeremy was placed in moderate/severe special education classrooms. By age 17, Jeremy had little speech but learned to type and point to letters at home with his mother. Subsequently his local high school (Torrey Pines) placed him in general education classes. Jeremy graduated at age 21 with a full academic diploma, and gave a commencement speech using voice output technology. Jeremy’s story was highlighted on MTV’s documentary series True Life, in the episode, “I Have Autism” (recipient of a 2007 Voice Award), NPR, PBS, The Chicago Tribune, Newsweek (cover article), and Fox News.
Advocacy for others like him who have no voice is an important part of Jeremy’s life. After high school, Jeremy co-authored a book A Full Life with Autism (Macmillan 2012) and served as a Youth Representative to the United Nations for the Autism Research Institute (NGO); as a youth leader for the Autistic Global Initiative, and as a a youth advisor to the California Employment Consortium for Youth (CECY). Jeremy has received the following awards for his service to the autism community:
- 2016: Re-Imagine Autism Award – Autism Society of America, LA Chapter
- 2016 –The Art of Autism’s Hearts & Arts Awards
- 2012: Community Service Award – Naturally Autistic (Canada)
- 2006: Local Autism Hero Award – Cure Autism Now (now Autism Speaks)
Jeremy discovered he had synesthesia in 2011, when he explained to his mother for the first time that he saw letters, numbers, words and emotions in color. In August 2012, Jeremy began to communicate about the dreams he was having: dreams that he was painting the emotions of people he had met into colorful portraits. One night he had a dream that he painted ten of his paintings and had an art show. He asked his mom if this could come true, and she encouraged him to paint in real life. In April 2016 his first curated solo art show was held at Space4Art in San Diego and was covered by national media including People.com, NBC, ABC, Good Morning America and thecreatorsproject.vice.com, as well as local media.Jeremy’s art awards include:
- 2016 Top ten finalist for 2016 Platform Artist of the Year, with over 200 contestants.
- 2016 Spotlight artist at ART San Diego 2016, San Diego’s annual juried contemporary art show.
Currently Jeremy meets people in person at his art studio at Space4Art or online, and then paints to recreate the portrait envisioned while dreaming. Jeremy uses acrylic paint on wood panels and large canvases.