The uber-talented Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers is a worldly fellow. Born in Australia and raised in Northern Ireland, Jeffers now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He’s also a multifaceted talent; a writer, director and an artist.
Photo copyright of Malcom Brown
Jeffers writes and illustrates the most wondrously imaginative and fun children’s books – the type you look at now, as an adult, and wish you had to play around in the lovely little worlds of when you were a tike. With titles such as The Incredible Book Eating Boy, The Great Paper Caper and How to Catch a Star, it’s not hard to imagine what fun and sweet adventures are hidden behind his beautifully illustrated covers.
As a director, Jeffers co-directed a lyric video with Mac Premo for U2’s Ordinary Love. The video is gorgeous and sensuous, but somehow oddly soothing as well. The pair cut a second version of the video after being paid a visit by the band at their New York studios, which was made to accompany the Paul Epworth version of the same song.
And on top of all of that, Oliver Jeffers is a brilliantly interesting artist as well. One of his most intriguing projects is titled Dipped Paintings. A series of performances which involved Jeffers dipping (his own) fully painted portraits into vats of enamel paint, the result is a shocking veil of colour hiding from view parts of the portrait’s features.

Without a Doubt Part 2. 2012. Oil on canvas dipped in enamel. 28’’x22’’
Copyright Oliver Jeffers
It sounds interesting enough, but when you consider that Jeffers painted the portraits alone in his studio and kept each one hidden, never so much as photographing them, only to have them be revealed for but a moment to the people present at his performance of dipping – it all gets just a bit more compelling. Only the people present at the dippings bore witness to the full portraits, and their memories of them are the only unobscured incarnation that remains.
One of Jeffers’ dipped portraits was just featured in this year’s SPRING/BREAK Art Fair, and more information on upcoming exhibitions and book events can be found on his website Plus, if you have little ones who enjoy crafts (or you’re a fully grown human who’s bored this weekend) Oliver has a downloadable activity pack based on some of his books which you can download from his website, too.