All in one wrap
Sometimes an interview comes right at you—literally. This week, it was local artist Jacob Jerde, riding my way on his yellow-and-red swing bike (a two-wheeler that swivels at the head tube). I’d seen Jerde’s art—wild, vibrant fantasy scenes—at the clothing boutique DV8 during Second Saturday. And he’s often hanging, or cruising on his Schwinn, around Midtown, though he just moved to Sac. Find out more at www.myspace.com/jakejerde.
How long have you been in town?Six months, but I was born here.
Where were you before you moved?Washington state. I lived up in the Puget Sound area for seven years, and it was a great place to live.
Describe how you first started painting?I became an artist when I was a kid. I enjoyed the idea of mysticism or—what do you call it? Not mysticism. Just the idea of creating another reality.
Why?The fact that you need outlets from the everyday things you do. And I felt like that’s how I should use my creative energy.
Is Sac a hard city to adapt to?Actually, no, because there’s a million people here, and there are a lot of people that do different things. And I do different things than most people. So there’s opportunity here for everybody.
Where are you as an artist now?Man, you’re putting me on the spot.
It’s OK. I won’t use this question.As an artist, I like low-brow high art, as they call it. … I go in and out of realms every day, and reality is not what I always see. Just the other day I came up the idea of not living in this world, but also having a separate mystical world, whatever that is. I don’t want to tell you what it is right off the bat, because then my shows wouldn’t be a surprise. … I try and keep that to myself. That’s my life and my world, what I’m trying to show people. The way I think.
What else do you do in your spare time?I enjoy reading, and—
What have you read lately?Uh. Oh, god.
Busted!Dude, aw, man. I ain’t gonna tell you. I’m not going to say.
Tell me about your bike.In O-Town, there’s a pack of dudes that would ride around on swing bikes, and I always wanted to be that odd man on the bike. But at the time I didn’t know where to find one, where to get one. But it stuck in my mind. Then I moved here and went to College Cyclery and they had one. Dream come true. There it was.
So what’s the appeal of the swing bike?It’s hard to explain. It’s different. At first, it was a little difficult to use, unlike any other bike. It swivels. You don’t necessarily go faster, but it’s definitely good for corners and the overall enjoyment of the ride.
I haven’t seen any bike like it in town. Have you?No, not yet. But I hear that people are looking.
It’s gonna be the next fixed gear.(Laughs.) Maybe. Maybe not. You see, the swing bike—you wanna hear the history—originated in the ‘60s. … But the swing bikes didn’t really catch on as much, so what happened was there were problems with people getting hurt on them. But the Schwinn frame does lock in place; on mine, I had to drill a hole to lock it. … I see a lot of people in their 40s and 50s who’ve never seen the bike model before, and I say, “Well, it’s been around since the ‘60s.”
How’d your Second Saturday show at DV8 go?Well, I was too busy talking to people to notice reactions, but I heard that people liked it, I guess. I’m not exactly sure. I was kinda walking around at times, but there was a band playing, too, so it was really fun.
What world does your art take place in?I’ve always been attracted to using this world, but adding the elements of fairy tales, fantasy. And then I’m also a real big fan of Glenn Barr, an artist from [Detroit]. There’s a lot of really good artists out there, and you want to be as good as them, and that’s not easy. Just ‘cause you enjoy it, you want to just go with it and enjoy what you’re doing. Yeah. (Laughs.)
What are you going to do the rest of the day?Run errands. Have some lunch somewhere. Probably go to the library, because I don’t own a computer.
Where do you like to eat?At the La Fiesta on Alhambra. I like the spread of salsas they have there. I usually get the one taco, beans and rice. Or I get a super burrito if I can handle it.
Is Mexican food here better than in the Northwest?Fuck yeah. I don’t know, the tacos weren’t as good up there. It’s definitely a lot better. I used to work in a Salvadoran restaurant up there that was pretty good, though. … But I’m finding that Mexican food is actually really healthy, good ingredients; you get all the major food groups in one wrap.