ERIC BASSTEIN | Eindhoven, Netherlands
Eric Basstein’s interest in drawing and painting started when he was very young. At the age of 19 he went to art school but decided to quit after two years. Besides art he had a great interest in music. After quitting school he started playing as a dj. He first made name for himself in his hometown Eindhoven and soon after that other city’s followed. As a DJ he got in contact with other DJ’s and producers who worked with him as a DJ and illustrator. After 10 years in the music scene he felt that the need to paint again got bigger and bigger. In 2015 Eric decided to switch back to painting and this time with more focus.
He took his experience from his musical background and used that for his paintings. Inspired by the similarities between art and music, the way modern music is created by using layers of samples just like paintings are constructed by layering imagery, he developed a process that uses this approach when constructing work. Combining images from fashion magazines with a piece of a comic book illustration or a part of classic painting, felt similar to sampling a bass line or snare when creating hip hop music.
Influenced by the likes of Velasquez, Caravaggio and Rubens as well as the music by Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, A Tribe Called Quest or Madlib, he spent a year in his studio working on his skills and building his visual language. Starting his process with research through magazines and books he isn’t looking for particular imagery, but picks pictures that resonate with him. Using selected elements to create abstract collages he play’s with this non-restrictive puzzle until it feels right. The finished composition is then translated on canvas with some extra additions such as color changes or background elements being added last. The finished pieces are graphic based fusions of various elements that form distinctive images which often play with perspective or classic art formats, as well as give strong nod to familiar icons of popular culture. Eric’s blend of the historical and modern is sublime. His paintings blends realist figurative work inspired by old masters with abstractions taken from comic books and fashion. His work combines contemporary and classical references to create an astonishingly resonant dialogue with the viewer.
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