Art and Music by King Vitaman

About

April 7, 2011 by admin

Art

King Vitaman is an American artist and musician. He grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota. He attended the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, TheGlasgow School of Art and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He currently resides in Prague, Czech Republic.

Jeremiah’s work as a painter is primarily known for rendering the digital world in oil paint. His subject matter includes but isn’t limited to paintings of video games, television shows, and film stills. His work has been acclaimed by two very differing worlds; both in internet culture as well as gallery walls. Much of his success can be attributed to large online blogs such as Boingboing.net, and Destructiod  who have featured his work. Jeremiah has also worked with Curators ranging from Mark Divo (Luxembourg), Jakub Hosek (Czech Republic) and Michael Rade (Germany).
He collaborated with Travis Jeppesen to produce the book Poems I Wrote While Watching TV for BLATT Books. In the book Jeremiah’s paintings were a visual accompaniment to Jeppesen’s sardonic poetry about watching television. Palecek has received more mainstream media attention for his work investigating viral YouTube videos and other internet memes. Appearing on Canal Television’s L’Edition Speciale as well as in Wired magazine in Japan and the US, and NPR’s radio program The Bryant Park Project. Palecek’s art utilizes symbolism and imagery more common to the digital world and because the subjects are rendered in oils the viewer is forced to look at these images in a new way. In an interview for Print Magazine Clive Thompson wrote that “for Jeremiah Palecek, the computer screens of video games and software are the new landscapes.”

Music

King Vitaman was born in Bismarck, North Dakota where he helped form the band Eat Sinking Teacups in 1997 with Monkey Suit, Robotron, and Quig Quig. Eat Sinking Teacups was a experimental lo-fi art band which utlilized low quality drum machines, tape loops, guitar, samplers, pedals, trash cans, and vocals in their recordings. They were also known for their onstage antics which included hooking up a microphone to a vacuum cleaner and vacuuming the carpet at the venue.
Early Eat Sinking Teacups performance at One World Coffee House.

King Vitaman’s first solo album “Marsh” was released on CDr and traded among various underground music communities. The album was created while Vitaman lived in an old farm house 26 miles out of Bismarck in the North Dakota prairie. The album was created with equipment which was left over from Eat Sinking Teacups and also incorporated field recordings, many of which were made on the farm’s slough which was populated by a wide variety of birds.

Vitaman’s second album “Plastic Champion” was also self released in 2001 and is considered to be a favorite among lo-fi afficianados. Incorporating guitar, pitch shifted vocals, and crappy vintage drum machines as well as long dadaist conversations with multiple personalities of King Vitaman. These other personalities included the long list of pseudonyms Vitaman would take over the years. Mainly SonataG, Sin-D, Anne Archist, Leonard Koza, Jerry Godolphing, and Grunewald.

Vitaman’s third album was produced by Vitaman’s alter ego Grunewald (self titled) and was a lo-fi noise album which infused screaming lyrics with industrial noise, political speeches, and samples from the home shopping network.

The Decompression of Leonard Koza (also labeled as The Decompression of Jerry Godolphing) was a 23 track rock opera made by King Vitaman over the span of 5 years. The story details the life of a man who is a scrap metal collector who is taken to heaven by an angel one day. The angel then turns out to be Satan and the man is forced to cut the head off of God and all his disciples. Banished to earth the man then lives outside of society, fights with police officers, joins a gang, and rallies a group of train kids to fight against the system all before he is taken into a spaceship where he freestyles with aliens and realizes that peace on earth is possible. The album is a mix of mainly digital elements with minimal guitar and heavy, almost operatic lead vocals.

The Gloom Swan is an 11 track album released in 2012 which is a journey into a solemn and slow netherworld. Falling more into the category of experimental political art rock the messages remain the same with songs such as “We’re Taking Over”, and “Master”. King Vitaman also created an entire religion based around climbing a hill near his house in Czech Republic which are outlined in many of the songs lyrics. The hill was once ruled by an ancient ruler named Sigismund who is often referenced in the songs. It was also a hiding place for nazi weapons, and a Mausoleum which housed Communist war heroes during Communism.

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