Artist Eric Helvie uses snuggies as his canvas, but his work is far from being warm and cozy. inspired by millions of VISUAL references he creates a LANGUAGE that is unique and VIBRANT, he gave us a look into his latest work.
The Unlimited - What is the story in your work?
Eric Helvie - An addiction to looking is where it begins. A need to constantly be flipping through imagery, whether its is film, art history, other people’s art. A lot of my work comes from this addiction or this need that I can not control, and the individual works are a distillation of this process. A pure sort of refined comment on thousands and thousands of images.
TU - How do you refer to the snuggie in reference to your art?
EH - When I first came across the snuggie I thought this is a completely absurd object and it has no meaning and no cultural value. Then as I continued to look at snuggies for whatever reason I realized that there was all of these layers that I was projecting onto them from my own addiction to looking or seeing. I felt that the snuggies for whatever reason had this quality of being both humorous but also somewhat decadent and even violent in some aspects. If you consider the military endeavors that allowed people to live in the amount of comfort to give them a blanket with sleeves. All of these things sort of coming together, all these layers, make the snuggie for me a perfect example of the distillation of art history and imagery and even politics in some cases.
"I think it is a fascination because of my personal aversion to emotion in the work, and even now as I am saying emotion in the work I cringe."
TU - How do you treat emotion when it comes to your art?
EH - My art has never been focused on emotion, or emotion has never been important to my art. In fact it has been something that I have avoided. I have a distaste for this idea that the artist has to deal with his deep inner psyche through his work, its bullshit and I do not give a fuck about it. I think I view art as work and the best art as just being incredible acts of creating.
TU - And there has never been a time when your emotion crossed into your work?
EH - I need my work, but need is not an emotion. It comes to individual pieces I will say yes I love this painting, but it is more because I have a hard time imagining seeing it leave the studio. Beyond that, when it comes to my painting the thing that tends to be the most powerful presence in the studio is art history and visual references in general.