Born in California, U.S.A. in 1981, artist Jeff Carter has maintained an extensive relationship with painting and the figure. As an undergraduate at Sonoma State University of California, he witnessed a decline in public enthusiasm for representational art; in some academic circles, figuration was no longer being championed as en vogue. Nonetheless, he persisted to test the figure’s unique ability to expose psychology and explore culture, through complex storytelling and heroic sensitivity. Jeff Carter received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Painting in 2005. As an alumnus, in 2007 he returned to Folsom High School to instruct advanced and A.P. studio art. In addition to building an extensive and fervid culture of artistic expression for adolescents, he sustained a regimented, studio practice of his own.
After briefly studying at the Academy of Art University of California in 2012 and Grand Central Station Atelier of New York City in 2013, Carter received his Master of Arts degree in Painting, from Sacramento State University of California in 2014. Since that time he has been awarded numerous honorary distinctions including Teacher of The Year Award from Folsom High School in 2009, Teacher of The Year Award from Folsom-Cordova Unified School District in 2013, and the Arts Achievement Award from the City of Folsom Arts and Cultural Commission in 2018.
Jeff Carter continues to instruct advanced and A.P. classes full time, but employs his own studio practice as a platform to test the limits of contemporary portraiture and Social Realism, in order to examine the social fabric of our society. Addiction, mental health, sexuality, family, and race, are some of the themes that his works confront. For nearly 20 years, his personal devotion to representational art and the figure has fueled a strong rejection of what he refers to as, “a naive public conviction that figuration is antiquated or incapable of fueling insightful innovation."
As a public school teacher, progressive citizen, and critical artist, Carter believes that it is his own creative duty to exercise contemporary painting as a tool to invigorate empathy, by fostering an understanding and awareness of others. Today, he maintains a compulsion to generate large portraiture, propelled by expressive storytelling, to teach the public about the genuine lives of real, human beings. Painting continues to embody his multifaceted pledge to realize and apprehend compelling human conditions that are universal and timeless, while simultaneously paying homage to present-day, cultural facets that are unique and ephemeral.