By Austin Eddy, Artist
Words by Nikolaj Hansson / Illustration by Sine Jensen
Austin Eddy is true East Coast; born in Boston, educated in Chicago and now residing in New York, Eddy is one to look out for. Having already produced 10 (!) solo exhibitions alongside a large amount of group shows over the course of just 5 years, it's inevitable to note the productive character that is Austin Eddy. In junction with his participation in Stockholm-based Galleri Steinsland Berliner's Winter Show, we got a chance to sit down with the multidisciplinary artist and ponder upon process, the depraved cases of society, the art world and much more.
What's it like to live on the East Coast?
Life is fast and dirty. More often than not, there's a lot of stress too. It's all pretty exhausting, but at the end of the day, nothing beats it. There's so much amazing art and so many awesome artists that you get to see and meet. The sense of community that one can find here as a young maker is really beautiful. Plus, there's nothing like the view of NYC's skyline from a rooftop in Brooklyn with suds and buds.
Were you raised in an artistic environment?
It was semi artistic; my parents were both in the theater, so it was creative from the get go. They later went on to being business owners and left the theater behind later on in my developmental years. When I was young, I would go to plays and operas with one of them and watch as my mom made costumes or my dad did the lighting. At the time, that was very exciting for me to take in. Outside of the theater when I was younger, there was a lot of time spent making things, drawing and building Legos. It kept me out of trouble for a while but ya grow up and to other things. Maybe make a go of it.
What does Austin Eddy want with his art?
I'm still trying to figure that out, but I know that I want something relatable and human from it.
As an artist, is success important to you?
I think success is what you make of it. I find happiness to be more important. I'd like to be happy.
Do you keep your memories alive through your art?
Sure, alive. Or you could say that I'm working to forget.
You've had 10 solo exhibitions and a whole bunch of group ones. Does your perspective on the work process change, depending on its purpose?
I try not to enter that ring, when I'm working. It's easy to get swept up in thinking about a show, how to get it and blah blah blah. I try and focus on whether it's good or not. What makes the work good? Can I make something not so hot, interesting or at least moving? When things start to affect the way I think, it's mostly when I have to start thinking about the relationships between different pieces of work. How do I edit things down? What makes the most interesting relationships with one another? Like, if there are going to be a bunch of sculptures, it might change how the paintings are read. I have to consider all of that. At the end of the day, the work always shares a similar purpose though: progress, growth and understanding.
From time to time, you reference other historical artists. Is history important to art?
I think history is important; we wouldn't be where we are today without it. I think looking back can be a good thing. There's so much to learn from everyone who came before us, just as much as someone working now. Shit, we're all going to be history one day. I'd hope we were all important enough to someone who'd want to look back and learn.
Does your art become worthless, if it doesn't move you or influence your perception of something?
I think art will always move someone. Maybe not me, but someone will be moved, interested or tickled by it. At the end of the day, work is subjective and in the eye of the viewer.
Do you find inspiration in depraved cases of society?
Not really just that, I'd say I find inspiration in all aspects of society.
As your popularity has gIt seems that you're experimenting quite a lot with different mediums, whether that be painting, sculpturing, ceramics or drawings. How do you chose which medium to use?
It just feels right at the time. I get really bogged down in my paintings sometimes, so I look for an escape. That is often found in the sculptures. There’s less pressure there. I'm not a sculptor. I am a painter making sculptures, I don't necessarily know what I'm doing so there is way less pressure there. Drawings happen when I can’t paint, when what I want to express doesn't need to be on a canvas or I just need to get ideas out. It relieves me of anxiety. I guess the day just lets me know what I should be working on.
What do you like about the art world?
The art world in particular? I think I like the fact that it is a part of the real world, and there are so many interesting people populating it.
Is the artist always right?
I don’t think anyone is always right. It’s best not to think about it.