Jeremy Raymer: Pittsburgh’s Manic Muralist
A fourth in a series by Buffalo transplant David Neimanis taking a deeper dive into PGH’s art community
If you’ve spent even just a few hours walking around Pittsburgh, then you’ve almost certainly seen the work of Jeremy Raymer. Whether it be vibrant creatures, superheroes, Simpsons characters, or detailed portraits, Raymer’s bright colored murals have been flooding the walls of Pittsburgh’s various neighborhoods since 2014. “No one has ever done as many murals in this city as I have,” the artist confidently claims – an indisputable truth.
While strolling through Lawrenceville and the Strip District it becomes apparent that Jeremy Raymer has truly turned much of this city into a public gallery of his own. You truly get a little bit of everything with no real noticeable cohesion, beyond a sense of livingness. Wide armed superheroes, bright colored animals, television characters, beautiful women, and Pittsburgh sports stars, covering abandon walls once in need of life.
With his street art, spray paint-centric approach you get to learn quite a bit about the artist, including the fact that he is very busy. With a method that the artist has been developing since 2013, he generally can paint a mural in an impressive 20-40 hours. While you’ll see the “Raymer” tag on murals all throughout the city, there are even more Raymer murals beneath other murals of his own. “Yeah, I’ve covered over my stuff many, many times – probably at least 20 times. I like to try to play around with the concept of having an expiration date, where if the piece is still there by that date, then I cover it up with something new,” the muralist explains as we discuss the ephemerality of public art.
Something that you won’t learn about by looking at Raymer’s work is his past. The now muralist once went to the University of Pittsburgh to study biomechanical engineering, which led him to San Francisco to pursue an engineering career. In 2014 Raymer boomeranged back to his hometown of Pittsburgh where he accepted a position at Westinghouse Electric Co – it was at this point in time that he purchased a house in Lawrenceville and began covering it in art – the beginning of a new chapter.
After juggling a high-stress engineering position with increasingly busy mural demands, Raymer decided to quit his job and became a full-time artist. He believes that his engineering background has had a big influence on the way he approaches a new work, both creatively and logically (although it appears no amount of planning can prevent extra trips to the paint store during a project).
The artist’s Uptown studio has a façade with paintings from other peer artists, such as Matt Gondek. When you walk into this unique old home, it’s surprisingly modern interior is filled with cans of spray paint and new designs, truly giving you a sense of Raymer’s hustle.
Fun fact: Jeremy Raymer has worked outside painting murals all the way through December 23rd in 28-degree weather.
You can find Raymer’s work all throughout Lawrenceville, the Strip District, North Side, South Side, Uptown, Downtown, Oakland, East Liberty, and beyond. This summer the artist has already painted half a dozen large murals, including a large painting of Roberto Clemente in the North Side. Raymer shows no signs of slowing down, with many upcoming murals underway, including pieces in both Manhattan and Charleston.
To view more of Jeremy Raymer’s work, visit the link below and check out his map to find what works are in your neighborhood…because there probably is.