Austin Eddy is an abstract painter currently working in Brooklyn, NY. Eddy uses mixed-media elements to create vibrant and geometric assemblages that are often sculptural, but typically in the form of a painting. His artistic endeavors began at a young age, from scribbling a nearly illegible Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle as a young boy, to later feeling the spark to become an artist when happening upon a Green Day album cover, Dookie, in 1994. He felt the urge to create something visual, and has pursued the arts since. Decades later, Eddy has exhibited internationally, completed notable residencies, and will have his latest work on view in Night Swimming, a group exhibition opening in June at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery. His lengthy resume is impressive for an artist under the age of 35, and a far leap from the childhood days of illegible cartoon drawings.
We sat down with Austin Eddy (a Boston native!) and asked him a few questions about his work today:
Abigail Ogilvy: What is your creative process like? How do you begin, and do you have a vision of the end result?
Austin Eddy: Often times there is little idea for the end result of the image, I may have a feeling in mind or an energy I would like to convey, but I rarely start with a picture. I do usually predetermine and think in terms of colors. For example, I would like to make a brown-heavy or a green monochrome painting and then I’ll start there. Other times I’ll start with limiting my palette and deciding that my colors will be x, y, and z. Once I begin, I usually start from the bottom and move upwards while constructing the painting. Typically I will work in series, so that will also help point the direction of the works.
AO: How did you choose your medium?
AE: I tend to, or try to, bounce around a bit. I find feeling uncertain in the process of making keeps things interesting. When I start to feel too comfortable with a specific mode of working I’ll switch to something quite different. For example, once in the groove of painting, I will switch to something far more structured, like printmaking or sculpture. I’ll go down that road for a while, and eventually turn back to painting, but bringing all sorts of new perspectives and baggage. Or sometimes, I just want to try something new, and will.
AO: Your titles: do they come first and then the work follows? Or vice versa?
AE: I tend to title paintings retroactively. At times I have made a body of work and have gone back at the end and titled them. Sometimes the title seems unnecessary until it departs the studio and enters the public sphere.
AO: How do you feel your work has evolved in the past few years? Are there any specific goals you have for the continuation of growth in your works?
AE: Over the past few years I have really been focusing on the idea of simplification, both in form and narrative. The works to me exist as representational paintings, but they have been broken down to the basic building blocks of each story or thing being portrayed. I would like to think that I have an idea for the path of continuation, but the world is a funny place and often takes you places you never expect to go. I do know I would like to start making larger works, be it on paper or canvases or sculptures. We will see.
AO: Do you have any suggestions for artists just beginning their careers?
AE: I think it’s really important to remember to keep working, and to keep your community close. We all help each other grow and become better artists. Plus, it’s rather hard being an artist so a good support group is always helpful.
Austin Eddy received a BFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work was recently exhibited at Fresh Windows Gallery in Brooklyn NY, SetUp 2018 Art Fair with Cellar Contemporary (Italy), and David Shelton Gallery in Houston, TX. Upcoming, Eddy’s work will be shown at SOCO Gallery in Charlotte, NC, Ampersand Gallery in Portland, OR, as well as Viu Gallery in Queens, New York. He recently completed the Liquitex International Residency in London. Born in Boston, MA, Eddy now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Austin Eddy’s paintings will be on view from June 7th – August 20th, 2018 at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery.