Fine art

The many faces of EZE

The art, music and film of Taos wunderkind Erin Zeke Eagleton

By Virginia L. Clark
Posted 4/23/17

Born in Oregon and raised in Taos, Erin “Zeke” Eagleton, 45, is a local kid and a consummate artist. In addition to the pop-up show of clay works he did with Hank Saxe and Jim Wagner last fall, and last month’s show at Taos Cow, the Harwood Museum of Art just purchased one of his graphite on paper pieces which has been tapped by Taos art guru Gus Foster for rotation into the Harwood’s George E. Foster Jr. Gallery, hanging a few frames down from an Agnes Martin.

You have exceeded your story limit for this 30-day period.

Please log in to continue

Log in
Fine art

The many faces of EZE

The art, music and film of Taos wunderkind Erin Zeke Eagleton

Posted
Born in Oregon and raised in Taos, Erin “Zeke” Eagleton, 45, is a local kid and a consummate artist. In addition to the pop-up show of clay works he did with Hank Saxe and Jim Wagner last fall, and last month’s show at Taos Cow, the Harwood Museum of Art just purchased one of his graphite on paper pieces which has been tapped by Taos art guru Gus Foster for rotation into the Harwood’s George E. Foster Jr. Gallery, hanging a few frames down from an Agnes Martin. Pretty heady stuff. Even Eagleton admits to some giddiness when considering where he’s come from and finds himself now. He used to wait after school in what was then the Harwood Library, sitting among the Benrimos, Dasburgs, Cadys, Bisttrams and more, never registering “how deep these guys were in my psyche.” Then, perusing the trap set (of drums) he’s been learning since last July, on being back in Taos, he remembered being first-drummer through Taos High School years, walking through Lower Ranchitos and “hating hauling my drum up that hill.” But he stopped the music for sports and more “mind-blowing” pursuits. “Now my art is in the Harwood, and now I’m learning the trap set – it’s like all somehow coming back around,” he said, almost as if it was meant to be, or a life-refrain. “Agnes Martin, who I knew when I was growing up, said if she had it all to do again she’d do music.” But the walls of his current studio (formerly the studio of many a Taos artist, including Gus Foster and Agnes Martin) bear the telltale works of sometimes feverish inspiration. Thematics from some of the big clay pieces from his pop-up show, described last fall in Tempo as “textured walls of flesh bound together with stitches,” reverberate through his literal and figurative strings and knots created in multimedia and various graphite works on paper, to be seen echoing again in partial-3D visions of boats and harbors, boards and buildings, leaves and forests, ravens and mesas. Though occasionally purely abstract, most of his work is abstracted with cubist hints. Edgy storylines set a stage for the viewer to hop on, spinning a history or hailing teleological adventures. His multimedia employs oils, gesso, knife, pastels; he paints with whatever he feels like, sometimes with sticks, using either hand, to get energy flowing. Rather than trying to evoke a “visceral feeling,” he said he feels he goes for a certain something he can explain. But considering the joyful ambidexterity he has found with drumming and playing darts, he’s had a new flash of insight. “I enjoy having both sides of my brain engaged, simultaneously. That’s what I am trying to do with the art. I now know that what I consider to be successful pieces, asks the viewer to engage both sides of the brain.” This fits with the near frenetic speech patterns he brings from various movie and TV production design gigs he has in Los Angeles and New York – characterized by fast talking and thinking with bursts of insight. He leaves for New York City in two weeks for one of the odd money-making jobs that fund his peripatetic lifestyle, allowing him to live in both Taos and Carmel, California, as his schedules permit.
“Sculpture’s what I want to do but it’s hard to do when you’re transient,” he joked about his lifestyle. “I’m kind of like an executive homeless person – we’re digital gypsies because we have these smart phones. People in New York don’t necessarily know I’m not there. People in L.A. don’t know I’m not there. It’s like the Matrix – you just plug in and you’re in that reality.” Besides the art, design and music (he’s also played and produced music CDs through the years, the most recent gig being at The Alley Cantina the past few months), he and another well-known Taos artist, Kathleen Brennan, have completed a film for their nonprofit New Mexico Foundation for Human Enrichment. They just need another $15,000 to finish the film’s editing and sound. Brennan recently co-directed with Jina Brenneman “Before the Grid,” the well-received Agnes Martin documentary now on tour. “I love Taos, but I had to leave to learn what I know,” he said, adding that he wants the community to know how grateful he is for all the support Taos has given him. In that same spirit, Eagleton will host an artist reception Sunday (April 23) at 7 p.m. at his studio, 246-B Ledoux St., at the end of Ledoux, just adjacent to the Harwood. For details, call (310) 422-9553.

Comments


Private mode detected!

In order to read our site, please exit private/incognito mode or log in to continue.