ERIC JON HOLSWADE
My first experience with painting occurred when I stood in front of Barnett Newman’s “Vir Heroicus Sublimis” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Never had I encountered such an extraordinary feeling of freedom and wonder. I had found my place in the world.
While attending the School of Visual Arts I fed off The Abstract Expressionist movement, looking closely at the work of Franz Kline, Motherwell and Joan Mitchell. It was during my senior year that I began to focus on the color and spacial work of Blinky Palermo. However, it was the deeply personal works of Basquiat, Hesse, Beuys and Burri that pushed me to search deeper into my own experiences with life and self as a inspiration for painting. After graduating I continued to work extremely hard, but I knew there was something missing in my work. Frustrated, I got my dog and whatever would fit in my old chevy and left New York. My intention was a cross country drive to California, but when I stopped in New Orleans I was immediately seduced by the aging signs of decadence and raw humanity found throughout the city. I had found a new home. It would be 3 years before I made my way back to New York. The south would prove to be an invaluable ingredient in understanding my life and my artwork.
I have never been an admirer of landscape painting, and I was surprised to find myself drawn toward nature and unique architecture as a subject for my work. Perhaps it began with the uncertainty that followed the 9/11 tragedy, but I found myself yearning for simple beauty, or the emotional freedom we experience when confronted with the awe of nature. I needed to find a way to reflect my passion for life, and there are few things in life I enjoy as much as working in my studio, mixing paint and watching color transform the world around me. The physical building and layering process through which I began creating the landscape paintings revealed a perfect fusion of collage, color, abstraction and imagery.
Art has always been a way for me to escape into a world of thoughtful poetry. Art has always been a place for me to realize just how incredible it is to be alive.