Sometimes in our lifetime we are blessed to meet people, who manage to touch our heart through time, countries and more often – internet. Eric Scott Bloom, b.1962 American-born painter, photographer, singer-song-writer, producer, performance artist, poet, filmmaker, journalist, graphic designer is one of the most prolific artists on Twitter and Facebook, dominating the art space with a plethora of talent, productivity and character.
Eric has kindly agreed to participate in this long distance interview and we offer you a fascinating insight into his motivation, inspirations and creative perceptions
CERISE: WHO IS ERIC SCOTT BLOOM, aka MODARTIST?
ERIC: I am an artist who has grown to the point, now being 48, of being able to put myself in a mind-space which allows me to create without experiencing any doubts that what I’m doing is good, right, necessary, and beautiful. To some, that may seem like an art cliché,’ the ego-maniacal “arteest.” There is ego involved. How could there not be? But it’s much more complex and meaningful than just ego. I have come to the conclusion that there is inevitable death, and that through art, in whatever form, death is not the end. We artists leave something behind when we disappear into the cosmos. These paintings, songs, photographs, poems, films, diaries—these objects are like magical talismans, which hold the key to the whole human condition, at least from my perspective. A great painter dies, and his essence remains in one of his or her “masterpieces.” Hopefully, available to the ears & eyes of the world….
I have tapped into spirituality, which is partly a way to deal with one’s own mortality, and by coming to stark realizations about impermanence, I seem able to create with ease, and in the belief that I am not only making something; I am saying something. And so I make art that I myself wish to see. I write and record songs that I myself want to hear. I never write, or paint, or dance for anyone’s pleasure, except my own. I gorge myself on myself. The magic happens when someone else who might hear or see, can FEEL what I might have been tapped into when creating the piece. Then there’s a melding of consciousness, and that’s when potentially an artist can shake the world at large. I think that shaking just one person at a time has made me all the more appreciative of those who are willing to put their prejudices aside, and be open to one of my works. A painting, a photo, a song; it doesn’t really matter what the medium is. The important thing for me, is did the viewer get a sense of spirit and my “Inner Vision?” A jolt to the “soul.” The art should beg the questions: “What IS ‘soul’?” “What is spirituality?” And “Can art and spirituality become one?” I believe this is possible. I know it; I’ve felt it, and seen it throughout my life, in the work of those I revere, and always will.
CERISE: EARLIEST INSPIRATION
ERIC: When I was no more than five or six, I would visit my great-grandparents apartment in Brookline, MA. This is 1967. Summer Of Love. I was six in the summer of love. That means everything in my art. My grand-parents’ son, my great uncle Leon, had a closet that I would find fascinating, because I found him so, and I would crawl in there and raid it. It was your typical closet in many ways, but, the floor was hidden by piles and piles of books. Great, wondrous books. Stand-out for me was a Dali monograph. Seeing those canvases at six years old did something to my brain and my heart. There was also Aldous Huxley. Antonin Artaud. Picasso monographs. Art Deco. Surrealism. Existentialism. Beat poetry. It was all there, and it excited me to no end. At six, I set out to emulate these painters, writers and thinkers. My musical journey began after a decade and a half of being raised, from age six months, on Beatles and Elvis. When I was in Freshman year of highs school, I heard a song on the radio—in art class!—which I assumed was called “Everybody Must Get Stoned.” I later found its title to be “Rainy Day Women, #’s Twelve & Thirty Five.” It was Bob Dylan, and life was never the same after that very moment. He has inspired me in every aspect of my creative life and suppositions. Whether he knows it or not, Bob was, and is, my mentor. He EMBODIES the creative process for me. And so I have taken my passion for Bob Dylan, and Dali and Picasso and Lenny Bruce and Muhammad Ali and Woody Allen and Jimi Hendrix and Anne Sexton and Jim Morrison & The Doors and Robert Rauschenberg and RB Kitaj and Joseph Beuys and Paul Klee and Robert Frank and Diane Arbus and Jackson Pollock and John Lennon and Patti Smith, and countless others, mixed them all up in a big, boiling cauldron of soup, and drank it all down in one long gulp; a gulp lasting forty years, and is still going strong. I mixed it with my own spirit, and put the elixir that resulted into all my artwork. The magical, mystical potion that allows me to make a painting, out of nothingness.
CERISE: IF YOU COULD PAINT AS ONE PARTICULAR ARTIST, WHO WOULD THAT BE?
ERIC: Can I choose myself? I choose myself. However, if in fact the question regards which artist BESIDES myself, then I will choose, at this moment, Salvador Dali. The man appeared by his work, to me, to be “more” than human. A spectral wave of pure energy and thought. A craftsman with the imagination of a hundred painters and a thousand poets combined. Tomorrow, I might choose someone else. Everyday is another chance to discover something truly magical, to add to my list of protean influences.
CERISE: ARE YOU EXHIBITING OR WORKING ON NEW PROJECTS?
ERIC: I am not exhibiting. I am living in a room, where I make art. I am attempting to compile all the work into one whole oeuvre, before time runs out. I am writing songs at an alarming clip, and thrusting them into being, without looking back. I see how quickly life passes. I just want to get it all together, and get as much more done as my mind and body can muster the energy for. The older I get, the more critical it becomes that I make and disseminate the work. If you knew me like close friends and family, you’d see I am mad. Years ago I learned of Arthur Rimbaud’s philosophy of aesthetics and creativity. The raising of the body’s essences, including the dark poisons, and boiling them down into the QUINTESSENCE of one’s creative self. “A long, drawn out derangement of the senses…” This is how I attempt to make my art my very own. To give homage to my mentors, but add in the quintessence of my derangement. Bob Dylan said “Chaos is a friend of mine.” That about sums up my battle to be, and remain, an artist, until my last dying breath. And my legacy will be that my works, in all media, represent my spirit, and my un-dying love for my dear, beautiful child, Kyle Eric Bloom; my one and only “Bubba.” It is for him and me that I make and create.
CERISE: WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE WORLD, AND WHICH OF YOUR WORKS REPRESENT IT BEST?
ERIC: I feel I have made works in a multitude of different media that I could choose to represent my artistry. It’s a very confining spot for me to be sure, as I am in favour of seeing as much of an artist’s work, at any one time, as possible, in order to truly get a feeling for what makes him or her tick. But it’s also a liberating question, because your choice of a single painting to represent thousands of others makes you really get in touch with your artistic spirit. It just so happens I can answer this very easily, in regard to paintings. It’s a 16 x 20 inch oil on canvas, called KYLE ERIC BLOOM (INFANT), and it is my portrait of my son when he was six months old. I wanted to capture his innocence, but I ended up also portraying his vulnerability. As I am big on homages, it is my ultimate homage to love, fatherhood, spirituality, innocence, childhood, and Kyle, whose birth awakened a place in my heart I never knew existed. A humble, simple, small artwork that says more about me than a million words could pin down. I have painted several portraits of Kyle, at all ages. They all mean the world to me. This one is special.
I asked him if someone offered me $100,000 for it, if he thought I should take the money, and give it to him for his education. He was adamant. “Don’t ever sell that one, Dad. I want to have it in my family forever.
Cerise Art Agency and Eric Scott Bloom
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