Jerry Weiss (b. October 21, 1959) is an American figurative, landscape, portrait painter and writer. As a student he studied classical drawing; he initially focused on portraits, and began to paint landscapes during the 1980s. Weiss contributes a "Master Class" feature in The Artist's Magazine, providing an overview of historic artists. His father is cartoonist, Morris Weiss.
Jerry Weiss's parents met at the Art Students League of New York. His mother wanted to be a fashion artist, but dedicated herself to family, while continuing to paint. His father is Morris Weiss, a well known cartoonist from whom Weiss sees himself as inheriting an irreverence to life.
Weiss was born in New Jersey, but soon after the family moved to North Miami, Florida. He was influenced by the graphic freedom and assured skill of cartoonists, whose work he saw in his father's ample collection. Morris asked for his son's advice when buying works by Dean Cornwell (1892–1960). and had once sat for James Montgomery Flagg (1877–1960). As a child, Weiss had over his bed a Saturday Evening Post cover by J.C. Leyendecker (1874–1951) and later on a drawing by Norman Rockwell.
However, Weiss was put off narrative work, after seeing his father's daily hard-working routine for comics such as Mickey Finn and Joe Palooka. Wanting to find more enjoyment and personal freedom, he decided to learn classical drawing and was recommended by George Bolge, a museum director, to study with Roberto Martinez, who had been a student of the sculptor, Marino Marini; from Martinez, Weiss learned to draw life-size, a practice he later taught. He studied at the Art Students League of New York, where Ted Seth Jacobs instructed him on light and form, although he preferred the "more emphatic draftsmanship" of Harvey Dinnerstein. Weiss later studied at the National Academy of Design in New York City.
He began his career during the 1980s as a figurative painter. Ten years later he took on landscapes -a genre in which he is self taught- after realizing he could treat them as he did a figure in an interior, in terms of composition, pattern and shape. In 1994 he started teaching at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. In 1999, he held a one-man exhibition at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. The executive director of the museum, George S. Bolge, wrote of his paintings:
Jerry Weiss is a product of his age...Weiss with a great heritage goes to the past for design concepts for form, but looks to the present for his investigation of content.
In July 2008, he began a regular "Master Class" feature in The Artist's Magazine, examining and analyzing the techniques of past artists.
Weiss said the hardest portraits to work on were impatient sitters with no interest in the art, and:
I enjoy spending three or four days with people who have knowledge in their field, and I would like to think it's vice versa. I find great enjoyment in these situations. Once the time is up, the portrait becomes not just a painting in a collection, but a memory of personal time shared.
He has had solo exhibitions at galleries in New York, Boston, New Jersey and Maine. His work is represented in the New Britain Museum of American Art; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Pfizer Inc.; the Harvard Club of New York; Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston; Debevoise and Plimpton, New York. He has taught workshops and lectured in Florida, New York, Washington, Maine, and Colorado. He teaches painting and drawing at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. He is listed in Who's Who in American Art and Who's Who in the East.
* Fellowship for Painting, New Jersey State Council on the Arts
* Best in Show, Hortt Annual, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
* Isaac Maynard Price, National Academy of Design, New York, 159th Annual Exhibition
* Phillip Isenburg Prize, Salmagundi Club Annual Show, New York
* Boca Raton Museum of Art
* New Britain Museum of American Art
* University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill