UB Artist Jed Leiknes

(Pronounced "LIKE-niss")


A little more about Jed...

He is a tattooer and painter from Northwest Wisconsin. He's been tattooing professionally since 2004 and painting professionally since 2010. His focus lies largely on dark art, specifically the more grim potential human beings have in their relation to one another. He enjoys coffee and wearing hats in the summer. 

Jed is one of our newest contributing artist. His work can be shocking to some, visceral and even perceived as grotesque. But for those that look deeper, they will see the level of expertly placed brush strokes and an use of color that testify to Jed's incredible skills.  His work lures you in.

"I’m first and foremost motivated to paint ugliness: primarily the ugliness people inflict on themselves and each other. I’m interested in why people do what they do, and what compels them to act outside the jurisdiction of their own personal boundaries. I like seeing conventional beauty, in whatever form the subject takes, marred somewhat. The frequent omission of hair or oftentimes even a distinct gender is a means of conveying that reduction of character, of agency, that a person would normally have through their identity.

I tend to stick to a warmer, more natural palette. If it’s a high-chroma, arbitrary neon pigment, it’s either at the absolute bottom of my toolbox or in the garbage. I prefer the color of the skin under the epidermal layer, skin that’s settling into putrefaction. Meat that’s gone bad; old leaves.

Once a painting is done, there’s little use I have for it, in terms of posterity or sentiment. While there are a few overtly sentimental pieces I keep around, I don’t hang my own work, outside of the convenience of wall space versus stacking them in a corner. The entire point is to communicate the idea, not necessarily to reflect on it or congratulate myself for a finished piece. That’s why the turnaround for pieces tends to range anywhere from two hours, to a week at the most. There have been plenty of exceptions to that, and I am trying to slow down to further refine my work, but generally I strive for a sense of motion and energy in my pieces through an impasto technique.

That is not, however, to state that I’m simply in the business of painting strictly for money. While it has become more and more a primary means of supporting my family over the past few years, I’d still do it if nobody bought another piece. I would occasionally hear people claim - usually artists - that they’d likely be found dead at their easel, and it wasn’t until recently that I realized I’m almost certainly in that boat. There is absolutely nothing I’d rather do in life than create art."

-Jed Leiknes


Interested in a commission or buying an original? contact: leiknesoils@gmail.com

Featured Print




Other work


Interested in a commission or buying an original? contact: leiknesoils@gmail.com