Investigating the "Now" with Jupp Soetebier

Jupp Soetebier, in a recent interview with VoyageLA, describes himself as being made of “memories and nothing at all.” His work is “an epiphenomenal result of a lifelong investigation into thought and how memory shapes my Now.”

This philosophy has led Jupp to create a new body of work, "the static now subset b | die vergeblichkeit des schicksals,” produced exclusively for stARTup Small Works, our newest fair event coming this September 28-30 at 1599 Tennessee in San Francisco’s Dogpatch arts neighborhood.

Its predecessor, “the static now subset a,” is available through our online partner Artfinder.

This week we talked with Jupp about his new series, and dove deeper into why he investigates the Now.

1. Why or when did you decide to make art?

When I was a young child, my father saw me scribbling and coloring all over the page in my coloring book. He took the crayon from my hand and showed me how to color in the between the lines. I remember thinking how much I hated that. Whether this is a false embellished memory or not, it is the earliest moment I am cognizant of it in relation to an inherited and wholly involuntary life in art.

2. What inspires you currently?

Nothing and everything. Inspiration is wrong word. My impulse to coalesce and manifest the somewhat intangible ideas that are constantly marching back and forth in my head is my natural state. Am I inspired by it? No. Am I compelled by it? Yes.

3. What tool or medium would you be lost without?

Wood chips and sawdust.

4. Other than your art practice, what other work do you do?

I am a unwilling disciple of Joseph Beuys in the way that I view all action in life as art. My wife likes to point out that as the chef in the family I cannot separate art from life particularly when I arrange items on a dinner plate. I also find that the dust patterns I make when sweeping the floor or simply walking across a room is art... and I do it with or without anyone else around. Hiking mountain trails with my dogs becomes a performance piece. Every moment spent in time is an opportunity for reflection, contemplation, and interpretation.

"just as we began to believe that those fields would always be green" from the series "a fragmented past". In situ at the Open Show December 2017 at Gallery 825 in Los Angeles

"just as we began to believe that those fields would always be green" from the series "a fragmented past". In situ at the Open Show December 2017 at Gallery 825 in Los Angeles

5. What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you in your career?

I ran face-first into Roy Lichtenstein at a crowded opening for Richard Serra in NYC once. Darn near bashed heads. He just glared at me and said nothing.

6. If you could own any piece of art, what would it be?

Orisis und Iris by Anselm Kiefer, of course.

7. What's your least favorite color?

Whatever color I used last.

8. Anything else you’d like to add?

I’m excited to showcase the static now subset b for the first time at Small Works, so excited that I filmed my process creating the under-paintings for YouTube.


All stARTup artists are vetted by an independent jury for each fair to ensure that art collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals are discovering and purchasing works from today's top independent artists in the market.

Find Jupp on Instagram:



Q&A by Content Curator Mica England