As you already know, we at The Culture Curators are all in for art. It’s captivating, it’s deep, it’s compelling, and it’s one of the purest forms of self-expression. Art comes in all shapes, sizes, forms, disciplines, and mediums. Art surrounds us daily, and we tend to not put too much emphasis on it. As fans of the arts and the art community, linked up with the incredibly talented Teddy Sykes, from Ocala, Florida. We got deeper into art and his art in particular. We got much more acquainted with the artist in the process. In case you didn’t know, he and EJ Nieves, whom we spotlighted earlier, will soon be opening their exhibition “Neon Dreams,” but we will touch more on that later. For now, let’s find out more about Mr. Sykes.
You may or may not be familiar with Teddy, but if you are from around the Ocala area, you should be. Born in Michigan, the artist moved around at a young age before eventually landing in Ocala. He calls the area home, as he’s spent most of his life here. He’s been painting for five years, but his attraction to art runs much deeper. He’s certainly made his name known in the area with beautiful pieces on display at local art galleries and more throughout the city. However, there are brighter things on the horizon!
His origins in art date back to elementary school. Teddy spoke about his early days of art, stating: “I still have awards and trophies at home from art contests I won back when I was just a kid. It’s crazy to realize that I’ve been doing this for that long.” He said that he was always artistic, though he did it because he was good at it, not necessarily because he loved it. Over the years, that has changed for Teddy. He said: “It’s fun and it brings people together. What’s not to love?” Teddy continued, “The more I paint, the better I get, and the more passionate I become for all things art-related. It’s a big upward spiral.”
While his passion for art is relatively new, it’s been a hobby and an interest point for over two decades. Teddy said, “I’ve been painting for about 5 years. That’s how long I’ve been taking it seriously anyway. Up until then, I really didn’t care much about painting.” He did hyper-realistic portrait illustration for years before switching gears and moving to paint. He added: “but I’m glad it happened.”
Teddy’s go-to style is surreal portraits. His visual style often incorporates “hallucinatory imagery with touches of dark realism and surreal fantasy.” He opened up about his inspiration and the influences behind his work. He said, “Almost all of my artwork is at least in some way influenced by the music I listen to. You’ll notice the themes of my work change from time to time, and it’s always because I’ve picked up on some new music.”
He even does a bit of creative writing too. Mr. Sykes said, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I’d assume it’s true vice versa. A lot of the things I paint are directly based on whatever I’m writing at the time.” He also noted that everything in his life influences his painting, and he feels that every artist can say the same thing. He looks to Henrik Uldalen as his favorite artist, inspired by his “ability to juxtapose the darkness of life that nobody likes to see with the fragile beauty of the human figure.”
Like an onion, there are many layers to this incredible artist. His pieces can be colorful and sexy, as well as dark and almost haunting. Teddy’s talents are vast and exceptional. Locally you can see his art at The Keep Downtown and occasionally on display at MCA. 2020 looks to be a big year for Teddy. He indicated that he plans to have at a few more big art shows while prepping for the “Neon Dreams” exhibition that is coming soon.
Teddy Sykes and EJ Nieves will unveil their “Neon Dreams” art experience. This immersive event takes place on December 6th at Infinite Ale Works in Ocala, Florida. The event is set to be like nothing the area has experienced while hopefully bringing new life to the local community as a whole. We will get much deeper into those subjects at a later time.
In the meantime, check out Teddy’s work at TSykesArt.com and follow along with him on Instagram. Until December 6th, keep it locked with The Culture Curators for all of your “Neon Dreams” updates and alerts.