Jeff Hughart is an American self taught artist who grew up in southern California and now resides in Bisbee, Arizona. Around the time he was seven years old, he gravitated towards art and drawing through the encouragement of his father but didn’t pick it up again until much later in his life. After graduating from college with a Bachelors Degree in Communications he went on to work as a technical photographer, play bass guitar in various punk bands and publish a couple of fanzines. In 2002 he began painting, inspired by his artist wife and the various outsider and folk artists which she introduced to him.
Jeff creates fictional and distorted faces and creatures often in bizarre settings. Many of his works have a dark undertone and at the same time there is often something playful scattered throughout, in a style he likes to refer to as “Tragic Whimsy”. His use of vivid colors is unique and nontraditional; it is a surprising and ironic fact that Jeff is color blind in the red/green range yet somehow his work seems to benefit from this often perceived handicap.
Almost all visual artists will tell you that they began drawing and finger painting at a very young age. I think most people do. I did too. I was lucky to have an older sister (5 years older) who seemed to know how to draw pretty well. And my father would take us to arts and crafts stores where if we wanted, he would buy us drawing tablets and pencils and “how to draw” books. I loved it. I loved drawing and doodling. The doodling stuck around, but any serious drawing was left behind as I was under the belief that to be an artist, one had to go to art school.
In the meantime, there were other creative endeavors. Like filmmaking. Photography. Teaching myself how to play bass guitar well enough to join some punk rock bands. As time went on, there was web design and desktop publishing. And finally, after meeting my artist wife, I asked her to point me in the right direction in how to paint. I had been yearning to do this a few years prior by being introduced to art brut and outsider art. So I dove right in and before I knew it, I was actually selling my artwork. A dream had come true.
Like punk rock had been there for me to vent some of my anger from some childhood trauma, painting is my new punk rock. My new way to release some anger and some of life’s frustrations but also release positive aspects of my life and all feelings in between. In other words, I put my heart and soul into each piece of art that I create. So, if you do own a piece of my art, you kind of own a piece of me. Well, that’s how I like to look at it.