Art Week Miami Gets an Unofficial Mascot

Jeremyville's latest creation is a ball of sunshine with a punk-rock edge.

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Dec 6 2016, 4:30pm

Jeremyville is both a man and an idea—a state of mind actualizing Australian optimism fused with New York City hustle. He's also a Brooklyn-based artist known for creating sunny, snarky illustrated worlds that both affirm and critique the human psyche. For Art Week Miami, Jeremyville infiltrated The Standard Spa, Miami Beach, populating it with characters old and new, including a spritely Miami mascot named Raymundo Diaz.

The character himself is a little yellow ball of sunshine, or personified citrus, toughened up with a spiky mohawk. His backstory is that he's an expat making his home in Miami, having fled the grit and grime of the Bowery for a more laid-back Miami groove. But though he's a little peppier than your average Gothamite, Raymundo's New York snark shines through. Throughout the week, his visage peppered The Standard Spa, from the mural walls of The Café to the pool deck. On Sunday at The Standard's annual recuperative BBQ, a bevy of other characters—as well as Jeremyville, the person—showed up, proffering good vibes all around.

For the mainly-cosmopolitan masses who flock to Miami for Basel, Raymundo and the other Jeremyville characters are a reminder that chilling out (ideally near a beach) does the body good. "'Punk and Sunshine All The Time.' That's Raymundo's motto. It's about using energy of the anarchy and iconoclasm in your life, and transforming it into something positive; using a punk mindset as a force for inner change and growth. We can all use some redemption in our lives. Revolution creates inner evolution," Jeremyville tells The Creators Project.

"Raymundo conveys a message of sunshine and optimism, an inner conclusion and resolve that comes from a place of initial anarchy and flux; positivity overcoming an underlying tension that this world often presents to us daily," he continues. "'Choose to build your own rainbow rather than smash things up,' proffers Raymundo. He stands for less walls, and more bridges between us. [...] There is often a sense of redemption in my characters, many of them are flawed, but in the end their optimism and resolve shines through."

A lot of Jeremyville's work centers on this idea. His Community Service Announcements (CSA) are warm and fuzzy affirmations for inherently flawed beings, proclaiming things like, "Be Your Own Guru," "Don't Use Others to Get Ahead," and "Hold It Together." They're a nice reminder that people don't always have to be perfect, but we should try to be good.

Simplicity is essential to the work, too. "A lot of my art practice focuses on inventing a highly restrained and abstracted character and reducing it to its simplest forms. The character is more a manifestation of the message I am trying to convey, akin to an actor playing a role in an independent film that I'm directing," Jeremyville says.

Putting the work on paper is rarely enough; Jeremyville pops off the page, peppering reality through public sculpture, street paste-ups, brand collaborations, home goods, shareable GIFs, and in this case, a mascot for The Standard and a takeover of The Standard Spa, at Miami Beach.

Raymundo and his friends may have popped up all over the property—on Spa amenities, the walls of the Juice Bar, as pool floaties, and as giant fiberglass sculptures—but it felt less like a takeover and more like an infusion of whimsical serenity. "The look is very restrained, pop, icon based, and reducing the color scheme to just black, yellow, and white. Black for the punk aesthetic, yellow for optimism, and white for the empty room inside us for inner change to take place," he says.

For more of Jeremyville's colorful creations, check out The Standard Shop and follow the artist on Instagram.

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