San Diego

Jeremy's Vision: How a Man With Autism Finds Himself, Communicates in Art

Most of the world rarely sees the real Jeremy

Jeremy Sicile-Kira sees the world differently than most of us.

But most of the world rarely sees the real Jeremy, his mom says. 

“The misconception is that if you watch him, and you watch his behavior that you might think there’s nothing inside,” said his mother, Chantal Sicile-Kira.

She says nothing could be further from the truth.

Jeremy is autistic, and mostly non-verbal. Still, the 27-year-old is able to communicate by typing onto a letter board, which is how he told his mom about a dream that changed their lives.

“He spelled out, 'Mom, I had a dream that I painted ten paintings and I had my own art show,'” she says. Jeremy’s mom went on to tell him he would need to learn how to paint first.

Since that dream three years ago, Jeremy has been painting. He now spends five to six half days a week in a small studio at downtown’s “Space for Art”.

In addition to living with Autism, Jeremy’s mom says he has synesthesia, a condition that can mix up the body’s senses. In Jeremy’s case, she says it causes him to see words and numbers, as well as people’s emotions, as color.

“He was talking about people being happy and that was yellow, and how orange was fun, and this person was a leader and therefore, they were represented by purple," she says. 

Jeremy started painting portraits of people he met based on what he calls the colors of their inner selves.

“My ability to paint the colors I see in my dreams is the greatest gift I have,” Jeremy types out. “I greatly hope my paintings inspire the best in each person.”

Jeremy’s mom says people are amazed at how he’s able to portray their emotions in color. She says he’s been able to tell when someone is sick, and more than once, pregnant, before those people knew themselves.

“They’re really surprised, and they say, 'How did he know this about me?' and it’s true,” she says.

This month, Jeremy’s dream came true when his show opened at Space for Art.

The show is just part of his recent success. Chantal says they are getting new orders in for paintings every day, some of which sell for up to $2,000. She’s hoping it can be a career for her son, and give him the independence he’s always wanted.

Chantal says, however, this is not all about money, or even all about her son. It’s also about all the other people like Jeremy.

“He’s thinking how many other people may have a talent that we are yet to discover because nobody’s given them an opportunity to communicate," she says.

Jeremy’s show will be up at Space for Art through Saturday April, 23rd. You can also find more information about Jeremy and see more of his work by clicking here.

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