Scott Teplin was born in 1972 on Halloween in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He had a fun but troubled youth that included getting expelled from middle school, burning off his right nipple while playing with homemade fireworks and irreparably embarrassing his family during his bar mitzvah. He earned shitty grades and avoided art because he thought it was for dumb kids. After inexplicably getting accepted (very late admissions) into UW-Madison, Teplin enrolled in a drawing class which he loved. Spending his junior year in Europe convinced him that he needed to be an artist. After college he moved to Manhattan where he worked in a run-down art supply store and collaborated with a group of eccentric book artists until he ran away to UW-Seattle for an MFA in printmaking. Two years later Teplin moved back to New York City where he lives with his wife and two boys.
Scott Teplin has exhibited world-wide in museums and commercial galleries since 1998. His work is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art (NYC and San Francisco), The New Museum, The Walker Art Center, The New York Public Library and several universities including Harvard, Yale, Stanford and California College of Arts and Crafts. He has exhibited work at PS1, The Bronx Museum, The Drawing Center, The New Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art and The New York Public Library. His commissioned work is on permanent display as a mural on PS130 in Brooklyn and in the lobby of the new Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital in Baltimore. He has been featured on numerous occasions in pages of The New York Times, Art Forum, Art in America, Art News, Salon.com, The Huffington Post, Artnet, High Fructose, Juxtapoz and on NPR's Weekend Edition.
Drawing enhances my ability to see inside of things, test how far they can bend, take them apart, put them back together and come to a better understanding of how they work. The imagery I work with harkens back to my youth when I first discovered the things that I love, and continue to obsess over today. My intention is to explore the same engrossing emotions that started to bubble up inside of me then, and I hope to stoke similar feelings in others who view my work.
I'm fascinated with the concept of Optical Democracy: clearly defining physical objects and spaces with little or no ambiguity unless it deliberately contributes to the purpose of the individual work. I use color and line as precisely as I am able to achieve Optical Democracy in each thing that I make, maintaining an equilibrium through inevitable imperfections that are the signature of a human hand.
As read from Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian:
“In the neuter austerity of that terrain all phenomena were bequeathed a strange equality and no one thing nor spider nor stone nor blade of grass could put forth claim to precedence. The very clarity of these articles belied their familiarity, for the eye predicates the whole on some feature or part and here was nothing more luminous than another and nothing more enshadowed and in the optical democracy of such landscapes all preference is made whimsical and a man and a rock become endowed with unguessed kinship.”