Nature and Japanese culture influence the artwork of Jeremiah Ketner, an American artist living in Tokyo. Ketner created the wonderful world known as SmallandRound, producing prints and limited-edition custom figures and paintings in a Pop Surrealist style. His artwork has been featured in Disneyland, Disneyworld, and Nordstrom, and exhibited in galleries worldwide.
Ketner's paintings are instantly recognizable amongst his contemporaries in the Pop Surrealism movement. His work depicts lush, richly-colored environments inhabited by a cast of pensive, dreamy young women. Each character presents a unique brand of beauty, created entirely within Jeremiah's imagination and painted completely from memory.
His mischievous sprites (which grace the walls of Nordstrom’s U.S. department stores) still appear as inspiration for custom wooden and vinyl toys. Bringing a three-dimensional surface to life is one of Ketner's favorite challenges. His intricate, colorful one-of-a-kind creatures are immensely popular amongst his collectors.
Beyond the designer toy phenomenon, Ketner's work is inspired by aspects of Japanese culture – fabrics and motifs, and the meticulous taming of and tending to nature. "I love the gardens. They do an amazing job of taking a small space and making it feel like a large environment," says Ketner.
During one trip to Tokyo, he observed that “design in Japan is small and round." That insight became Ketner's mantra, an enigmatic interpretation of his overall aesthetic.
Ketner's pop culture-inspired style and unconventional creations have a traditional foundation. He holds a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and an MFA from Southern Illinois University.