ABQ Live got to sit down with artist, for a look behind the walls and inside the mind of a local artist who’s made a big impact in the art world internationally.
Interview By: Kori Kobayashi
How old are you and where are you from?
ED: I am 34 and was born in Albuquerque, but currently live in Oakland, CA.
The environment and politics are some clear themes in your art. Can you explain your connection to these two topics and how they inspire your ideas and work?
ED: The environment is in my work because I feel people need life and color and a sense of freedom within the gray cold city walls, where at one point there were trees and wonder. The birds represent freedom and rebirth, both mother and father and the unknown. They are a way of bringing together oneness with all life around us.
Politics are in my work because politics, government, and corporate greed are killing the world around us and we need to all come together as one to defend and to heal the world around us. We start with ourselves, the things we buy, the things we allow to happen around us, the world and to our fellow brothers and sisters. Corporations plague our government, poison our youth, ourselves, and our planet. They have turned prison in to money-making machines at the cost of your freedom and the life’s of the poor, and this doesn’t even scratch the surface. So I think it is my duty to speak through my art and in the community to gain awareness of these issues.
ED: I think my style creates movement within the subject, which lends a more psychedelic unknown aspect to the pieces.
Who are your influences? And how have they had a positive affect on your work?
ED: Van Gogh inspires my work in a large part.
I understand that you were a major artist in the Occupy Movement. Can you describe your experience and what it meant to be a visual voice for the movement?
ED: I did do some painting around and about Occupy but my main function was street medic as well as cop accountability through filming and taking badge numbers and gathering food and some supplies.
I read that people motivate your art and that you are essentially trying to speak up for people through your pieces. Can you talk more about the causes and movements you are currently apart of and/or aspire to be a voice for in the future?
ED: I feel very strongly about and against the police state we are in and the corporate strong hold on the world by means of the United States government. However there are many issues and I continue to speak and learn about them all. As far as through my art, I have had many topics from things as simple as reaching kids about following their dreams, to world healing, and so on.
You’ve worked with other artists on different projects and murals. Is there a project or artist that is especially memorable or resonates with you more?
ED: Every project or person I have worked on or with has it own special memory and with each I try to learn and grow. I am blessed to have worked with every one I have, and thank them all.
You did a mural with Jaque Fragua and Ryan Montoya, which dealt with police brutality and issues on the reservations. Being from Albuquerque and knowing first-hand about the cities issues with the APD have you put in any thought into another mural or piece on that?
ED: Yeah, as far as police brutality, always. My cousin and step-brother were killed about two months apart from each other by police in New Mexico.
Great teachers are almost always the mark of great artists. Who are a couple of important teachers in your life and what are a couple important lessons they taught you in regards to your art/ life?
ED: My stepfather was a good teacher and so has everyone I have painted with along the way. I have learned many things in many ways from them all, as well as all my family and friends.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve come across and how did you overcome it?
ED: Life has many challenges but believing in yourself and following your heart is a good one.
What sort of advice do you have for young emerging artists coming into the art world?
ED: Some advice I have for young artists is just to try to be a good person. Follow your heart and as long as you are happy then you have made it.
Do you participate in Art shows? If so, what are your experiences with them?
ED: Yes, I participate in shows and I think they are a good thing.
If you could have another profession what would it be? Why?
ED: I am who I am, and I do just that, there is no other way for me.Where can we see your work in ABQ? Do you have any upcoming shows where the public can see some of your new work?
ED: I have many things in ABQ all over. I have a mural behind Sunshine, in Nobhill at Slice Parlor and at the ABQ museum.
What’s next, professionally, artistically? Where would you like to see your art and yourself in 5 years?
ED: As far as myself and my art in the next five years, I want to establish a stronger world wide presence. I would also like to paint in Chernobyl, as a piece to the future, because people of today still can’t go there. I think it would be an amazing place to
paint a time capsule of some sort.
What are you working on now?
ED: I’m getting ready to go to Hong Kong in November to paint. I’ll also be there to help feed kids that are living on the street with both medicine and food. I like to paint in the slums, where the culture hasn’t been masked with new buildings and corporate offices. This goes hand in hand with helping the community that lives in these areas. I always bring extra money that is dedicated to helping out those that need it most.