Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The internet has become the virtual cedar tavern for "beat" enthusiasts. As an abstract expressionist with roots in process oriented painting, who believes the pop movement in art and music cut the beat artists, writers and musicians off at the knees, I am reassured everyday genuine artists still exist beneath the commercial bubble of factory manufactured art disguised as fine art.

Read Eric Ernst on East End Art Scene. This article about the current east end art scene gives emerging artists hope in a world of collectors seeking blue chip art of modern masters. He has encouraging words for the local art scene. I would expect nothing less of the decendant of Max and Jimmy Ernst.

Ernst is an artist as well a writer. He was born in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1956 into a family of some notoriety in the art world. Originally intent on avoiding any direct involvement in the arts himself, he graduated from George Washington University with a B.A. in Japanese Studies followed by an all-but-completed M.A. in the same subject from the University of Michigan (to this day he insists the actual writing of the master’s thesis should just be considered a minor formality).

In between these academic respites, he lived in Japan working as an apprentice to a Japanese woodblock artist, studied Zen meditation, and was employed as a disc jockey at a Tokyo radio station under the pseudonym of “Reckless Eric, The Mad Artist of the Airwaves”. More importantly, his studies there were to later imbue his work with varied elements of Japanese and Oriental aesthetics in terms of coloration and concepts of rhythm and asymmetry in design.
Further incorporating aspects highlighting the geometric purity of the Russian avant-garde and the later Bauhaus artists, he was also influenced by his father, Jimmy Ernst’s, approach to crisp, linear compositional structure. In addition, the works are also inspired by aspects of harmony and movement drawn from disparate musical sources such as Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Igor Stravinsky, and Frank Zappa. Structurally arranging the works to be viewed as small scale architectonic spaces, Ernst recently has begun incorporating elements of representational imagery into his constructions. These serve to create an interaction of forms, shapes, and colors that, mixed with musical and harmonic elements, conjure a more immediate narrative and strive to transcend the limits of pure geometric abstraction.
Amy Ernst
My works are an extension of my hands emerging from the subjective dreams. Trying to coax the unconscious into reality, that reality seems to always remain a mystery. Like Andre Breton, author of the Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, I believe in a Future Resolution of two states on mind, one is dream, and the other one is the reality. Although these states appear to be contradictory by nature, they merge and become an absolute. Amy Ernst

Eric's sister Amy Ernst is an accomplished painter as well. In an interview with she said, "My father listened to jazz or classical music while he worked, whereas, I listen to Indian or Renaissance music." It's interesting how many painters are moved by music.

I missed Amy at Truman Marquez' ConTemplate opening but saw she was there from the footage of the filmed performance. I'm working on a documentary with Marquez and will have it available soon. Amy, if you're looking, I'd love your comments on the performance!

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