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:: Eric Staller - Out of My Mind (boek)
Eric Staller - Out of My Mind (boek)
Eric Staller – out of my mind
An autobiographical illustrated novel
Eric Staller (1947) is an American artist. He grew up in New York and studied architecture at the University of Michigan. Settling in New York City in 1971, he exhibited his art in galleries and museums. He has been commissioned to build large-scale projects for public spaces in the US and Japan. In 1985 he began a series of ‘urban UFOs’, mobile public artworks, ‘breaking down the gallery walls’ and taking his art to the streets. The first in this series, ‘Lightmobile’ (on the cover of the book) was a beloved fixture in New York in the 1980’s and is known worldwide through the media. Since moving to Amsterdam in 1994, Staller has shared his magical art with the people of Paris, Berlin, Brussels and London. Always trying to top himself, Staller invented the circular 7-person ConferenceBike (there are now 150 of them in 10 countries). His recent artworks have become increasingly political and reflective of current events. out of my mind tells the story of a man, always ‘pregnant with an idea’, on a mission to delight and challenge the world with his optimistic vision.
Eric Staller is a Willy Wonka-type inventor, building what he calls “urban UFOs”, fantastic mobile artworks that he takes to the people of New York City. He is guided by deep subconscious impulses, an obsession. He is also guided by a deep need to share his creations with the public. He toils alone in his studio for months, carefully crafting these hi-tech toys. When he emerges into the city with a finished artwork, it is as if a powerful alter ego takes over. He is welcomed everywhere! He’s a rock star, the star in his own film. Smiles, waves, thumbs-up, photos flashing, people shouting their approval. The art and the people’s love of it make him fearless and extroverted, and he takes them all over town, even to the poor and dangerous neighbourhoods. Says Staller: “It’s like a powerful drug, this giving and getting of joy from my work.”
Then September 11 shakes loose in Staller a need to make art that is darker and more political.
These works don’t get the same universal reactions of joy. The times have changed too, and Staller is now confronted in the streets by an undercurrent of pent-up tensions and angers.
Staller: “9/11 shook loose in me a need to write this memoir.
I wanted to give the reader an intimate look at my creative process; to show how my life and loves, my places and times, have been inseparable from my 35 years of art making. Take this book to bed!”
From the book:
“I didn’t choose to be an artist; it chose me. It is a calling, a religious feeling, and a compulsion to peel away layers of a subconscious onion. It’s a mystery to me where the ideas come from. It is the idea that initially appears the most absurd that I am ultimately compelled to build. The idea that makes me laugh and say” where the hell did THAT come from?!” is the one that becomes an obsession over the coming months. I become pregnant with an idea, a voice within becomes louder and louder saying: ‘You must build that thing!’”
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