In the Studio with Eric Sanders
What would life be like without art?
For me, life would be rudderless without art. It’s like an old friend whom you may lose touch with from time to time but that you know is always there for support if you need it. As a kid I learned to love the joy of painting through my father, and as I got older we would go to museums together as he shared his passion and knowledge of art with me. I ended up focusing on entrepreneurship for a while and reached a crossroads in my life. Once again, I found art and felt myself reunited with a good friend who’s further grounded me.
What is the hardest part of creating your art?
One of the hardest things for me is deciding which direction I feel like being pulled in on a particular day. I consider myself a bit of an artistic chameleon, as I enjoy pushing myself with both abstract and figurative art. As they are very different styles of painting, I need to make sure what kind of headspace I’m in before I start to work. I’ve started trying to fuse the two styles together in an attempt to find a solution to this struggle.
What inspires you?
The vast canon of art history will always be my guiding star. Just as some revere religious figures, I’m perpetually in awe of the profound creativity that precedes us. Artists today are blessed to be standing on the shoulders of giants that have come before us. I hope to contribute to this artistic link and one day inspire new generations of artists as well.
Who would you most like to collaborate with? Why?
There’s too many talented artists to choose from, but I would love to collaborate with Sterling Ruby. I had the pleasure of being able to visit his studio, and it was electrifying. The guy is a color genius. I’d really enjoy seeing how he’d contort and twist a painting of mine into one of his collage paintings.
If you had the chance to live during a different artistic movement other than now, which one would you choose? and why?
This is a tough one, but I think I’d have to choose Abstract Expressionism. There was such energy and dynamism around this movement, and while all artistic movements are by their nature groundbreaking, AbEx really feels like the genesis of modern art to me. For the first time artists were really letting the paint speak for itself. I also love putting my whole body into the painting process. It’s a method that really agrees with me.
How has personal experience influenced your creativity?
I’m a primarily self-taught painter, and I think those of us that fall into that camp often rely more on life experience than artists with more traditional training. In a way I’m grateful that I didn’t seriously pursue art until later in life. I’ve always loved the arts and so without realizing it, I spent many years acting as a sponge and soaking up different art styles and movements. Because of this background, I feel more artistically free than I may have been had I experienced a more structured training. Absorbing and learning from other artists is still a big part of my process. I recently saw some fantastic work by Jennier Packer and this led to a whole new batch of works.
What are your words of wisdom for someone starting out in your field?
Become an artistic sponge. All of the masters that you see in museums didn’t make their art in isolation. They built upon the styles that preceded them.