Blather.net sat down with mercurial artist Fred Einaudi to get the skinny on his provocative and apocalyptic art, the finer points of using oil on canvas and a plan to annihilate loud motorbike drivers.
Blather: Where are you from and where do you live now?
Fred: I was born in Weed Heights, Nevada. I now live in San Francisco.
Blather: If you were asked to describe your art using three adjectives, which ones would you choose?
Fred: Could, be, better. I guess only one of those is an adjective. I’m not all that enthused with my work at the moment.
Blather: When you sit down to paint a piece, do you have a clear idea of where you’re going or do you ‘wing it’?
Fred: There are times when I do have a particular idea in mind that I want to flesh out, but I find these rarely end up as my more successful pieces. Typically I just start playing around with photos, making collages. From there, sometimes an idea sparks, and the piece continues to evolve until I build up something fairly cohesive. Usually by the time I put paint to canvas I have a pretty solid idea of where I’m going. Sometimes though, I do paint myself into a corner and have to just abandon the picture or turn it against the wall until I can look at it with fresh eyes a couple months down the road.
Blather: Your pieces are Oil on Canvas – is there any particular reason why you like this medium so much? Are there any other mediums which you’d like to branch into?
Fred: I’ve played around with other mediums, but oil is the one I keep coming back to. it’s the one I grew up using, so it just seems most natural. There are also the obvious romantic connotations attached to working in oils which i find very befitting a quixotic pursuit such as painting. On the surface, being an oil painter in the 21st century just seems so willfully dumb. I love that.
Blather: Who are your favourite artists and why?
Fred: Henri Rousseau and Van Gogh were the first painters i was consciously aware of, and their work still gets me on a gut level, though its hard to say how much of that is the work itself and how much is nostalgia.
Hans Memling and Jan Van Eyck. The crispness of the work, everything ridiculously in focus and solid. Their paintings feel less like windows than entirely separate worlds.
Franz Von Bayros: ‘coz his work is just so wonderfully dirty.
As for living artists, these days I’d have to go with Richard Estes and Alex Kanevsky. Both guys makes me jealous, though in different ways. Estes is so mind-numbingly relentless, his best pieces make you feel like you’re seeing for the first time. Kanevsky is a master of the medium, an all around great paint pusher: the bastard love-child of Francis Bacon and John Singer Sargent.
In the end though, I think I prefer paintings to painters. That is to say, individual works rather than bodies of work. There are plenty of middling artists out there who have still managed to squeak out the occasional great work.
Blather: Skulls and other motifs suggesting death are a key part of your work. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Fred: I have mixed feeling about all the skull shit. As horribly overplayed and obvious as skulls are, they’re still a great metaphor for end and death. Probably the best. Which I suppose is why they get so over used. Even so, if I can avoid using them, I generally do.
Blather: If you could repeatedly punch one person on planet Earth in the head for five, relentless, blood-soaked minutes, who would it be and why?
Fred: Well, my problem with this question is twofold:
1) I’m a little wary of breaking my fingers on someones skull, since I sorta need them to paint with, so i think id rather opt for a high caliber rifle and a lovely rooftop view.
2) One person is not enough to make any impact. My desire would be to kill every single one of those assholes who remove or customize the factory installed mufflers on their motorcycles to make them as loud as possible.
I picture myself sitting in my nest, patiently waiting for them to come farting down the street. I’ll let them pass, and then give them a nice clean single shot to the back of the head with a 50 caliber hollow point bullet, creating such an enormous exit wound that the funeral will have to be of the closed casket variety.
Blather: What’s your next project and when can we expect to see it?
Fred: For now, just try to keep painting. It’s really the only thing I have any talent for. That, and marksmanship.
See more of Fred’s work at his site