Scott Jeffries grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and found success as a youth swimmer, a skill that he honed in high school where he set records that still stand after thirty years. He went to the University of Pittsburgh on an athletic scholarship and, along with his duties as an All-American swimmer, began to paint. Inspired by the skyline and streets of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, he began to depict them in surprising ways. He decorated his apartment so effectively with large scale paintings that he and his roommate were featured on the television show, Trading Spaces. Scott's art was featured prominently.
After undergraduate Scott was admitted to Pitt Law. In between cramming for exams, Scott continued to paint, developing his unique, unmistakable style. One of Jeffries' earliest works, a series entitled "Cities," features skylines that look as though they're being blown by the wind. The windows that line the streets look like they might melt into the sidewalk. The paintings appear to be suggestive of a city that is both unrecognizable and familiar--a strange, pleasurable marriage.
Scott's work has always leaned toward this kind of abstraction. As he developed his technique this abstract tendency became even more pronounced: trees transformed into wisps of color; bodies simplified into shapes; fish turned into loud, neon personalities; faces, just splashes of primary color. As Scott matured as a painter he allowed himself more room to explore his fresh perspective of the world.
Ultimately, Scott's painting is an irreverent expression of his sub-conscience, an invitation into his brain--a place where space and form are imagined from a decidedly different angle. But even so, each piece doesn't drown in it's own abstract principles. They are anchored in the sometimes comedic, but always earnest reality of Scott Jeffries.
Currently, he lives and paints in Boca Raton, Florida.
These are excerpts from an interview series developed by filmmaker Donovan Ortega. For the complete interview, go here.