“Daughters of Our Nature,” the latest body of work from Eric Fortune opens at Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle, tomorrow, July 24 from 6-9 PM. AM first spotted Fortune’s work back when he participated in a group show at Copro Gallery last year and we’ve been captivated since by the ethereal feeling of his paintings, which are the product of a time and labor intensive process.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Eric ahead of the show to find out more about this rising star. Our interview with him after the jump…
Arrested Motion (AM) : Tell us a little about this show and the title you chose, “Daughters of Our Nature.” Any specific themes or messages that you were trying to get across to the audience?
Eric Fortune (EF): The work is obviously feminine in nature. I wanted there to be a double meaning in the title. One of character and one of the world we live in. Or at least a world similar. I don’t feel like I’m trying to convey a specific message. Each piece presents a different mood and emotion in general.
AM: We understand that you were a commercial illustrator before you made the transition to fine art. Between the two, is there a difference in how you approach the work and have you made the transition to full-time fine artist or are you still dabbling in both?
EF: I’m pretty much 100% committed to my upcoming gallery shows. The work I’m doing now is so time consuming it would be difficult to take on much more. I might be willing to accept a commission depending on the job and if I’m the allowed the artistic freedom I’ve been enjoying the past year. Once in a blue moon, I’d get a really fulfilling assignment. But, it doesn’t quite compare to the work I’ve been doing. I’m ecstatic to be working on all these personal paintings. And, I also feel like I’ve grown exponentially as an artist. Previously, I would’ve managed two personal paintings a year tops.
I have a process that I use when working. Whether it’s for a gallery show or commission, it’s the same. Although, now I’m more critical of myself. I have a chance produce what I like and I don’t want to cut any corners.
AM: It’s amazing to see you work in the time-lapse videos you post on youtube. Most artists seem to consider their technique their one big “trade secret.” Any specific reason or inspiration behind why you started posting your videos?
EF: Thanks. I did the videos just to share a part of my process. I figured I like watching other artist work – why not make my own for anyone who might be interested?
I think technique is important to the extent that one is conveying what they want, how they want. But I don’t have a secret technique by any means. It’s just a lot of patience and hard work. If anything, it seems there is more copying of other artists’ styles going around than technique. A lot of sub-par derivative work continues to pop up. Being rather new on the scene, I’m trying hard to produce my best works and distinguish myself from the rest. Hopefully, I can make this a long term thing.
AM: How do you feel being based in Columbus, OH instead of a major art hub like L.A. or N.Y.C? Any drawbacks or advantages?
EF: Pros – cost of living is quite low. It allowed me to make a jump into the gallery scene as opposed to phasing out of illustration and into the fine arts realm. Who knows how long that would’ve taken? It also allows me to travel more often.
Cons – I don’t get to drop off artwork at the gallery. I just sold a kidney to pay for my FedEx bill… mostly because I’m still adjusting to how long the new paintings take. And Next Day/Two Day shipping busted my ass! Even worse, I miss all the openings. =( I’d be the guy with one kidney staring at the work (probably of a kidney) from three inches away.
AM: Can you share with us some of the projects and shows you have lined up for 2009?
EF: I have a show in New York early November with LeBasse Projects and I’m participating in another show later this year but it’s on the low-low.
AM: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. We look forward to the opening.