LONDON-BASED ARTIST TRIPS THE VOID
Story by Marissa Spada
A lonely creature floats within a field of nothingness, inconspicuous and yet exposed, as if a new form of hyper-awareness has taken over the senses and left the mind to delve into the mysteries therein. This void is a transformative space in the work of Greg Eason, a London-based artist whose subjects are depicted, in intricate detail, as single objects (often paired by an unassuming other) in the midst of a wide, white expanse. In their isolation, these images lose all associations of scale and relativity, and in this world, even the smallest detail is magnified as if every line were buzzing with a newfound importance.
A graduate of the Norwich University College of Art, Eason describes his work as “surreal thematically and formal in composition” – a testament to his training in both fine art and design. Like the subjects that appear side by side in his work, and still at apparent odds with one another, Eason’s drawings possess a graphic edge that provides a stark contrast to his barren landscape. The result is strangely symphonic; harmonious but paradoxical.
Challenging the conceptual parameters of time and dimension, Eason’s body of work is an exploration of existence and mortality; life and death. Skulls and speckled eggs are frequently used motifs, whose appearances are, perhaps, clues to the mystery that Eason has mapped out with pencil and paper. They sit, enigmatically upon the blank abyss, silently interrogating their counterpart. “I guess, ultimately, I’m trying to work out the meaning of it all, with eggs,” Eason explains, “The narrative is leaning on the apocalyptic at the moment. End of the world stuff. Bleak.”
While a sense of darkness may seem to pervade Eason’s work, the quizzical nature of many of his pieces leads to a wide spectrum of outside interpretations. Having received international recognition since the completion of his studies in 2009, Eason enjoys hearing of outside impressions, even as they differ from his original intentions. “It’s great if you can get someone to think about your work, no matter where they end up,” he says, “My work comes from a pretty melancholy place, but doesn’t always come across that way, which can be funny sometimes.”
With his minimalistic, detail-oriented aesthetic, Eason has also caught the eye of the fashion industry. One of Eason’s most recent exhibitions, Focus, is a collaboration with U.K.-based denim retailer, Jean.Machine. As part of a two-city event, held in London and New York, Eason’s work was showcased in conjunction with the brand’s menswear re-launch. As part of this partnership, Eason was also commissioned to create a series of drawings based on Jean.Machine’s garment details, which can be viewed on the label’s website.
While Eason’s work has proven to have increasing influence in the artistic and fashion communities, Eason seeks his own inspiration from a varied list of artists. “Paul Noble gave me confidence to draw at art school,” he says, “And I’ve always admired Lee [Alexander] McQueen’s beautiful-sad vision.”
“I keep returning to JG Ballard’s writing; he has an awesome imagination. And I listen to Philip Glass a lot. His never-ending compositions kind of mess me up. They’re beautiful and intense, and have a surreal relationship with time… It’s a bizarre meditation for me.” The same can be said for the universe Eason himself has created with his drawings – a universe that he has only begun to unfold.