Interview with Christopher Eadicicco
Untitled - No.1, 2020
Can you talk a bit about your background and where you’re from?
I guess a good way to describe my background would be a “mixed bag” - and by that I mean I am of mixed race, my father is Italian, Irish, and German, while my mom is African-American.
I come from a working-class family. Almost everyone in my family has worked or works a city job, and what I mean by that is they’re either Fireman, Policeman, Sanitation workers, etc.. When you grow up in New York City these were the ideal jobs because you got solid paychecks, you stay on the job for 20 years retire with a pension, and then move to Florida. This, however, wasn’t for me. Despite it constantly being pushed on me. I can’t tell you how many times I took one of those city tests as a “backup” job because nobody believed that being an artist was sustainable.
That fueled a fire for me because, respectfully, I didn’t want to be a cog in the machine. I was inspired every day by the art in New York City, and I needed to be a part of it. Despite my protest, I was pressured into going to college, which gave me an early-introduction into filmmaking. After I graduated, I discovered surfing and realized I have a deep connection to the ocean. Most people don’t think of the beach when they think New York City but it’s actually pretty accessible. I got lucky enough to get sponsored by a small handful of surf brands, which allowed me to do a lot of traveling. It was because of this that I steered myself back toward photography and filmmaking.
Today, I run a film and commercial production company with my wife and paint when I have the opportunity… or when the UPS guy finally brings my new watercolors I have been waiting for. I think about surfing all the time, and as soon as the beaches in NYC open - I’m on it.
Can you tell us about your practice?
I always have a vision for what it is I want to create, but usually don’t have the answer for how to translate that vision onto canvas. So, I research, lots of research - but not too much because when I have done that I tend to overthink or over-paint a canvas. I have so many paintings that have 10 layers of paint on them because I overthought something. But sometimes, in some odd way, these always turn out to be my favorite artworks. The rest gets turned into collage pieces that my wife uses for her own artwork.
How would you explain your processes whilst making? How do you go from idea to finished piece?
Like I said before, I do a ton of research before I paint anything. Depending on what I am trying to create, I will do various kinds of research on techniques and materials that will bring my vision to life. I don’t have a formal background in painting. I never went to school to learn the craft, everything I know I have learned on my own, through trial and error; making many mistakes, and trashing many canvases. Also music. Music is essential to the process. I have to be in a certain mood to really feel what I am doing. The ones that aren’t turned into collages get hung on the wall for a more thorough review process and then posted on Instagram, haha.
Would you say you had a traditional or untraditional route into the arts?
100% untraditional. Well, I never went to a traditional art school if that’s what you mean. I learned from doing, researching, going to museums, and asking lots of questions. The bit of education I did receive was in graphic design, which I would say helped my decision-making process or considering how a painting might look on a canvas. I’m not sure if that counts as formal, but overall I would say that life-experience has been my greatest teacher.
Untitled - the deep, 2020
Social media, especially Instagram, has been said to have democratised the art-world. From your experience, do you see truth in this?
Yes, and no. On one hand, the idea of putting the destiny of art into the hands of its creators is a beautiful thing, because you’ve essentially cut out the middle-man (galleries, art fairs, etc.) however, the downside to this is a very saturated market and more pressure on the artist to create, create, create. And while making art is what we all want to be doing, creating for the ever-demanding audience of Instagram does run the risk of the work becoming disingenuous. I hate saying that because I am guilty of creating such works. I do think it opens up doors and at the same time, creates a potential for something to lose its value or have a shorter shelf-life.
The art world has felt inaccessible by many working-class individuals, not only in terms of trying to succeed within it but also in regard to feeling welcome in galleries and museums. Was art a part of your environment when growing up, or was it something that you engaged with later in life?
Despite my first response up top, art has always been present in my life. The great part about growing up in New York City was that there are so many galleries, and just so much happening all of the time. The museums were free to get into, so I had the opportunity from a very young age to stand in front of some of the most respected artists of all time, and I’ve also had the opportunity to see some of the best unknown artists because we had galleries all over downtown Manhattan. But not only that, during the time when I was growing up the graffiti culture was extremely present. It was everywhere. So not only did I have museums and galleries to visit, but sometimes all I had to do was walk down the street. And I think that had to be some of the best inspiration I ever received. To see art at every turn kind of embedded itself into my psyche, and in some way allowed me to feel like I was born to be creative, born to make films, and born to paint. Although please don’t ever ask me to draw anything figurative, because I cannot draw for shit.
Untitled - No.2, 2020
What do you appreciate about the art world?
While I may be contradicting my response to the social media question above, I love that so many people are openly sharing their work. People aren’t afraid to show what they are creating, and I think that’s quite lovely. I think it’s amazing that people are willing to help others, be it questions about the technique, or a type of canvas they are using. I think each person’s art is sacred and should carry that feeling, but I’ve always enjoyed sharing my process.
Conversely, what frustrates you about it?
That it’s hard to stand out. With so much out there at times, it feels flooded. It feels like galleries are always looking for the next Basquiat or Warhol. Sometimes the originality feels lost because everyone just wants the same thing.
What would you say has been your top experience in your art career?
People buying my artwork. To have someone reach out and say your artwork made me think of this place from my childhood, that resonates because the artwork I am creating is purely from memories.
Untitled - Blue No.2, 2020
What is your dream project?
I think I would have to say, I would have loved to collaborate with Yves Klein. His dedication and vision to me are legendary. I am sure many would disagree and say well he just painted the same thing, or he just used the same color. But that’s it, he was brave enough and believed in what he was doing. That is hard to come by these days. We follow trends, we obsess over celebrities, and we get lost in the muck. For me at least maybe just having a conversation with Yves Klein would set me straight and help me find what it is I am really looking for with my artwork.
What do you feel is integral to the work of an artist?
To remember where you came from because it can all go away in an instant. Be true to yourself and your ideals. While it’s great to have idols, and inspiration to pull from, strive to be original.
What’s the best piece of artistic advice you’ve been given?
My mother would actually be proud of the fact that I even remember this - it’s something someone said to her and she passed it on to me, and that is “See it, Beleive it, Achieve it”. Sometimes when I really need to focus on a project and make it happen, I think about the details and that phrase. When I say this mantra, I feel like I get closer to my desired outcome.
You can see more of Christopher's work here.