Real, but not quite real. How to describe the work of Brooklyn artist Tucker Eason? His paintings exhibit not the conformist reality of a Rockwell, nor the impressionist commercialism of a Warhol. A better description might be a personal reality—each image relies as much on the perception and interpretation of the viewer as of the artist. It’s a perfect match for how we look at art today.
The saddle on this issue’s cover. A Ford pickup truck. A China tea cup. An old movie projector. Impersonal objects made personal, given depth through the experience of observing, connecting to the individual’s memories and experience.
Eason explains his intent by saying, “My paintings are abstractions masquerading as representational work. Realism functions as my passport at the gate of expressive painting. My work is a conversation about our relation to self, others, object, and stories of our life and time here.”
Perhaps Eason’s life path from rural beginnings to west coast and now east coast, has influenced his aesthetic, the vastly different lifestyles resolving in a method of painting that is reverent and non-judgmental. Eason’s paintings make a more subtle statement, but a statement nonetheless, one that hints at curiosity, tolerance, and acceptance.
Eason is originally from Aspen, Colorado, and the romance of the rural West colors his paintings. In a newspaper article he noted that his hometown had a stark wealth divide (his family was on the lower-middle-class side. He felt like part of the community, but sometimes, depending on where he was, like a stranger.
Those beginnings are still in his work, even as he has made a career in the country’s densest metropolises. As Eason himself puts it, “My paintings pay tribute to the analog workhorse of our past in a world constantly looking for answers in a digital future. By celebrating discarded objects, I emphasize the tension between our obsession with progress and the value of traditional solutions.
These functional, everyday items represent an underappreciated working class and highlight the importance of things often taken for granted. Through my art, I pay homage to the significance of the common man and aim to inspire a greater appreciation for the simple things in life.”
To learn more about Tucker Eason, visit his website, at https://www.tuckereason.com. An interview with the artist is posted at Listen Notes.