Gonzalo Rodriguez Gomez Interview with Andreas Eriksson
1975, Björsäter (Sweden)
Please, tell us about your working process. Do you come into the studio every day? How do you start your work day?
I work 5 days a week and start around 8am and stop around 5pm. I have quite many paintings up at the same time and suddenly I see something that misses in a painting or could be better and then I just continue like this until 5pm.
You´ve lived and worked in different countries; in what ways have these experiences influenced the way you work?
I could not really paint in Berlin. I knew what particularly interested me and this art scene in Berlin was very far from that. So I was mostly working for other artists. I need to be far from the art world and also be close to nature to find a good painting situation.
You were working on “The Quarry” for two years, a large-scale painting as a public commission for the main entrance of the Nya Karolinska Solna Hospital. How was the creative process of this painting? And another question, do you work to projects or you constantly work independent of exhibition projects?
I worked more than 3 years on that painting, it was very interesting to work for such a long time on one piece. I made it on the floor and there was very hard to get a grip of the painting. I just constantly work, I get less and less interested in doing shows, I like to spend time in the studio.
I read on a catalog that some of your painting are based on the concept of the canvas as a window between inside and outside (in both the literal and psychological sense). Is this idea related to the place where you are working at, or you embrace this feeling through memories?
I think these words were said on the occasion of my solo show at Trondheim Kunstmuseum. It works in both ways.
What do you think about the influence between different generations of painters? What do you think, for example, about the impact of your work on youth artists?
Painting is a tradition and painting can not belong to any painter or collector. I like to spend time with painting both in my studio and also having it on my wall in my home. Finding a nice painting on a fleet market is not so far from doing one in the studio. As long as I don´t get impressed by my own work I feel honest. I mean the romantic period is very connected to painting, and especially nature related painting as mine but what´s romantic today is something else.
Looking at your paintings, you can find “pointy” shapes as details, somehow, it could remind us of stalactites or a cartographic map from the sky, very specific. Do you use sketches before working on large-scale pieces?
Yes I do, especially on large format paintings but in the end I never follow the sketch, its more like a starting point.
Your paintings are labor-intense but, especially on your recent series, it seems you work over and over upon layers, am I wrong?
You are right. I want to go deeper into the painting by that giving it more time and also loosing them up somehow.
I would like to ask you about “Röta, bråka, skäkta och häckla”, one of your exhibitions at Stephen Friedman Gallery where two bodies of your work, paintings and tapestries, brought together in perfect harmony. Why did you choose tapestry as a methodology to translate your paintings, and what is the role of texture in both of them?
I am and was very interested in the painting canvas so sometimes it felt like I was coloring the canvas structure more than putting paint on top of it, so I decided to make the canvas directly but I guess it also conceptually relates to the molehills for example. Both are about cuts in between illusion and material and conscious and unconscious.I like the idea to make a painting even before putting gesso on to it, its like doing the painting from behind.
Do you think the perception of colour is contemplated in different ways on both –tapestry and painting?
No. I mean, the canvas is linen and the tapestry is made by undyed and uncolored linen so the colors you see is the differences in the soil where the linen has grown and also from which year. I have more than 50 kg of linen threads from today to 1800th century.