Saturday, January 23, 2010

Artist Profile: Larry Eisenstein

Thanks to spam filters, schedule conflicts and other absurdities of life, I was unable to complete my artist profile of Larry Eisenstein. But I did not want to leave his profile completely undone and so have "borrowed" the artist statement from his website which has been reproduced below. It tells much about this highly energetic, multi-talented and well-connected artist; and truthfully, does a better job than I would ever do.

I love drawing.  I became a compulsive doodler in public school when drawing pictures was dangerous, subversive fun. My first art project was a pornographic primer/magazine, drawn on stolen school carbon copy paper, secretly printed in the office copy room. I charged a nickel and got into a lot of hot water when my Grade 5 teacher Mr. Cassidy dumped the contents of my messy desk onto the classroom floor when I was at home with the flu. 

In those days, I most truly lived within the margins of my exercise books. I developed a facility for drawing tiny pictures, undetectable to the roving eyes of teachers. I drew monumentally violent struggles on battlesfields in cities, skies and oceans. I inherited this talent for making miniature marks from my great-grandfather whose vocation it was to inscribe the Judaic Torah onto tiny scrolls of parchment paper, stuffed into ornate talisman boxes nailed for protection to the doorways of Jewish homes in Poland. 

I use finely sharpened pencils and 000 sable watercolor brushes when I'm obsessed with detail and conversely cheap rabbit hair calligraphy brushes when fat crude strokes best expresses my feelings and thoughts. As far as my practice goes, I maintain a traditional studio space, but end up doing most of my production in close proximity to the myriad stashes of pencils, brushes and paper located all over my house, These caches are marked by ink stained walls, floors and furniture. Herds of erasers abound in these environs seemingly copulating and reproducing like rabbits. Everyone in my family tolerates my mania and works hard to camouflage the carnage. 

I use color apprehensively. Pencils, charcoal sticks and black ink enable a direct and spontaneous reportage.The graphic element I care most about is shape. I approach color and meaning as secondary considerations. When I spend too much time coloring or contemplating the meaning of my work, my thoughts easily drift off to the next doodle. I try to keep the sequence of cognition in my work as primal as possible by concentrating as much focus, energy and emotion into the stroke, the voice of my work.

To see more of Larry's work, visit his website here. As well, don't miss this afternoon's question and answer session with both Larry Eisenstein and Heather Carey and moderated by Audrea DiJulio  at LOOP Gallery.