Jeremiah Birnbaum

Home: Port Moody, British Columbia
Title: Like Mike 1
Media: Graphite on paper / graphite sur papier
Dimensions: 66.5 x 146.5 cm

My work references iconography derived from the masculine construct in images appropriated from sports marketing. My current work draws on my developmental years within the rigid structures of competitive athletics, exploring the parallels between the commitment and discipline that both art and athletics require.

Working within the traditional genre of figure drawing, I concentrate on some of the technical and conceptual themes consistent between art and athletics: tradition and ritual, self-discipline and sacrifice, ceremony and performance. The resulting series are generally comprised of fragmented figures in repeated postures and movements isolated from their contextual environments. The repetitive nature of the imagery and the process involved in its creation directly references the element of practice central to athletics. The images are then displayed within an installation format to create an all-encompassing iconographic environment comprised of multiple images. This is in intended to reflect the individual moments that combine to create the unified whole of a sport or game.

Like Mike I references Gary Nolton’s iconic 1989 photograph Wings, originally depicting a 26-year-old Michael Jordan displayed in a Cruxificion-like pose palming a basketball. To this day the image remains as one of Nike’s top selling posters. Like Mike I is from my series G.O.A.T., an acronym for Greatest of All Time, and a reference alluding to both Jordan’s idolization as well as the pagan substitution of his image for that of Christ.


2003 Visual Arts Bachelor of Fine Arts, Emily Carr Institute, Vancouver, BC
2001 Portfolio Program, Victoria College of Art, Victoria, BC
2001 Six Week Intensive Portfolio Program, Victoria College of Art, Victoria, BC


2010-11 G.O.A.T., Queen Elizabeth Theater Mezzanine Gallery, Vancouver BC


2009 I:Dent: Constructing and Deconstructing Personal and Social Identity, Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby BC
2009 Vancouver’s Drawn Festival: Pencil on Paper; Elliot Louis Gallery, Vancouver BC
2006 The Factory Show; Three person Exhibition with Attila Richard Lukacs, and Martha Sturdy, Gallery M by Martha Sturdy, Vancouver, BC


2009 Live radio interview, CBC On the Coast with Stephen Quinn
2009 I:Dent: Constructing and Deconstructing Personal and Social Identities Exhibition Catalogue
2008 Vancouver gallery’s new home energizes emerging show, Lloyd Dykk, Vancouver Sun


2002 John Chamberlain Painting Scholarship; Victoria College of Art, Victoria, BC