Evan Schwartz, a Brooklyn-based mixed media artist, took time out to chat with us about his work and process. Read on for a peek into his world.
Hi, Evan! Can you describe your artwork and share what you’ve been working on?
My art has a distinct surreal, dream-like, and urban feel to it. Currently, I have three main bodies of work: Who We Are—explores the complex lives of inner-city teenagers, Dreamscapes—gather together visual fairy tales that revolve around a central protagonist named Alice, and Through My Eyes, which is geared more towards the politics and observations of the world around me. The common thread that runs through all my work is a ‘worlds-within-worlds’ affect where there is always something more to be discovered.
“After The World Died”
Tell us about your background and when you started creating art.
I started drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil. Other than listening to and collecting music, I never had another hobby or interest in my whole life other than art. When an art magnet school was built near my home town I was among the first to be accepted to and attend it. In high school, my art teacher would send my assignments off to contests without telling me—and I ended up winning a number of awards as a result. After high school I moved to the big bad city to attend both Pratt and SVA.
“Beyond The Veil Of Childhood”
Did you have any major sources of inspiration when you were young and green behind the ears?
As a young child I would devour anything art related that came my way from comics and graphic novels to modern and classic art. As a tweener (and even now) I remember being distinctly influenced by album cover art, especially the albums and posters of Iron Maiden and their mascot ‘Eddie’. In addition, total and complete boredom, Robert Williams, Robert Crumb, punk rock, Bukowski, psychedelic drugs, Red Grooms, and most of Salvador Dali were major influences as well.
What inspires your work now?
I am most inspired by my life in the city, especially because that city is Brooklyn. To a further extent, having the good fortune to live next to a major art museum (Brooklyn) has shaped my art in dramatic ways. My most pivotal experience as an adult artist was seeing the Fred Tomaselli exhibit in 2010 at the Brooklyn Museum and being floored beyond belief. It was the first time that I not only saw resin used in artwork, but I was able to glimpse its limitless possibilities as a medium. Since then resin has become one of my main signature styles and have used it in every artwork I’ve made since.
Besides that, Instagram, where I can see amazing art from around the world keeps me inspired every day and makes me work even harder so that my work will continue to grow and evolve.
Can you tell us about your process?
I have a unique process, as my artworks are not so much painted, as they are built. Allow me to explain: Once I’ve designed an artwork, significant parts of the middle and foreground are drawn and painted separately from the background; the background is on the canvas itself, the other parts are drawn and painted on sheets of acetate. Once painted, these significant parts are cut out and mounted on to layers of foam core, which are then cut out again and glued on to the surface of the canvas. The result is that there are layers of images that come three to four inches off of the surface of the canvas giving it a tactile look that creates lights and shadows of their own. It’s difficult to see all of this in the digital photographs of my work that appear on the screen and I feel they must be seen in person to fully appreciate the work. Finally, each artwork is caste in resin, which leaves my art with richer colors and a smooth glass-like finish.
Where can we find your work?
If you are interested in my work I have a fantastic promotion going on. Each person who goes to www.evanschwartzart.com and signs my mailing list will have a limited-edition art print sent right to their home. Also follow me on Instagram @blackarts78