From the article "Charm and Strange" by Paula Kounse, the Louisville Guide, October 2005:

"A key part of Holland's charm and appeal is that his deceptively simple paintings span a wide range of subject matter, style and technique. At first glance, a stroll through his Butchertown studio shows an oeuvre filled with incongruity: chiaroscuro paintings in a faux-woodcut style, comic-book-ish paeans to monsters, skeletons, and frightening clowns (are there any other kind?), and fragile, demure childlike art brut pieces with a timeless and almost feminine quality. Only after repeated immersion in JSH's world can we begin to see the patterns and recurring motifs that are the signposts to his conceptual continuity.

I asked Holland what he considered to be the overarching theme to this array of primitive expressions. "I don't know that there is one", he muses. "Maybe it's me. These are all my impressions of the way things are, or the way things ought to be, so I suppose I'm the glue that holds all these images together." Is there a message? "There are many little messages, but the big message would be either "life is good" or maybe "life is weird". They're the same thing really."

The weirdness of Holland's work hasn't stopped him from riding a growing wave of success. He's sold well over 700 paintings in the last few years (many thru his not-so-secret pseudonym "Spunt"), and his art hangs today in all manner of places highbrow and lowbrow. His collectors range from stockbrokers to goth kids, to even celebrities (former talk-show host Craig Kilborn is a proud owner of a Spunt) and local legends like Gatewood Galbraith.

It's a far cry from Jeffrey's youth, growing up on a farm in rural Madison County, where he spent a lot of time by himself, reading and drawing, in a second house on the property. "The farm's potato bin was in there", he notes, "so I'm like those feral children raised by wolves, except I was raised by spuds. I'd sit in there for literally days at a time drawing pictures, reading comic books, and listening to weird scratchy old records. I'd only come out to have meals with the parents or to do occasional chores like tilling the melon patch or brushing the pony. Often I'd go for long walks in the wilderness, which was and still is quite haunted. There's a lot of time to do a lot of thinking when this is all you have to do all day. That, and bounce a tennis ball off the side of the house and catch it in a plastic cup for hours until the sun goes down."

And, he insists, he's still that same kid: "I basically became the person I am today by the time I was six. Maybe even much earlier. I had very definite ideas of how the universe works by then, and I still maintain them to this day. It's impossible to communicate these quantum-philosophical ideas in words, but I can come closer to it in visual arts. The ideas still aren't expressed completely, but at least they're hinted at, like sometimes when you think you see something out of the corner of your eye but when you look it's gone. If you stare long enough at my paintings I guarantee you'll catch similar glimpses of this unseen world."

(View the entire article here.)

Selected recent solo exhibitions:

August 1999: Appalachian Voodoo, The Outpost, Berea, KY
March 2001: Works by Jeffrey Scott Holland, Bronwyn Keenan Gallery, NYC
January 2003: Voodoo Video installation, Sqecial Media Building, Lexington, KY
July 2003: Desperate Telegrams, Gallerie Soleil, Lexington, KY
January 2004: Worthless Advice, Cinderblock Gallery, Louisville, KY
April 2004: Small Voices: Microscopic Paintings, Deatrick Gallery, Louisville, KY
December 2004: Fragments of the 20th Century, Someday Cafe, Somerville, MA
February 2005: Clowns in Love, Jigsaw Gallery, NYC.
September 2005: Retrocognition, Gish Art, Louisville, KY
February 2006: Jefferson County Confidential, Deatrick Gallery, Louisville, KY
April 2006: Project Egg, installation of art-filled easter eggs, Chicago, Atlanta, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Nashville, and Indianapolis.
June 2006: Appalachian Voodoo, Black Box Gallery, Seattle, WA
June 2006: Outhouse in Flames, Morgan Art Space, Brooklyn, NYC
April 2007: Fuel to Build a Fire, KISS Coffeehouse, Myrtle Beach, SC (coming soon)

Selected recent group exhibitions:

Spring 1998: ongoing display, Outside Atlanta Art Gallery, Atlanta, GA
Summer 1999: ongoing display, The Outpost, Berea, KY
Summer 2001: ongoing display in retail-gallery section of Bronwyn Keenan Gallery, NYC
July 2001: Stuckist Traveling Exhibit, Zinc Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
June 2002: Beast - Bestiary, Atelier Santa Maria, Saint Maixent, France
Summer 2002: ongoing display in Barbara Braathen's River Gallery, Narrowsburg, NY
February 2003: Pen and Ink drawings and Primitive paintings of oddballs and freaks - Cinderblock Gallery, Louisville, KY
December 2003: Miraculous: Contemporary Exvotos Paintings, Chez TGN, Brooklyn, NYC
February 2004: untitled group exhibition, Gallery On Main, Richmond, KY
August 2005: Addressing the Shadow and Making Friends with Wild Dogs, 313 Gallery (CBGB), NYC.
August 2005: The Worst Day on Earth, Gish Art, Louisville, KY
December 2005: Clair-Obscur, L'atrium de Chaville, France

photo by Mitchell Newport.