Eddie Rehm lives and paints on the East End of Long Island, creating works driven by and driving the emotions of both the artist and the viewer. Now he’s taken his unique vision and style to New York City with “Abandonment to Revelation,” a solo exhibition at the Orchard Windows Gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
“The Lower East Side brings about an alternative art scene with an energetic, hipper, diverse edge to it without the non-creative sheep-herded allure of mainstream appeal,” says Rehm. “It’s an area where artists, gallery goers and gallerists—but mostly artists—live, work, show, shop, drink and have fun at night. It’s reminiscent somewhat of the old SoHo days/Village scene in the 1980s.”
As we look forward to the Opening Reception this Friday, October 21, we spoke with Rehm about the Lower East Side art scene, the pressures and pleasures of a solo show, and being a 21st century artist.
Why is the Lower East Side becoming such a hot gallery spot in NYC? It has a lot to do with the area, artists and galleries. Real, raw, creative art is shown in the Lower East Side art scene without the fear of failing or rejection. As the gallerist Dino Eli of the Orchard Windows Gallery/Dino Eli Gallery would say, “It’s the last best kept secret of NYC.”
Once an artist falls into his comfort zone and creates a seen-one-seen-it-all portfolio of work—for whatever reason—it becomes stagnant, giving way to the next big artist or artists. Artists need to create, progress and experiment no matter what. Although everything isn’t great in the Lower East Side art scene, the same could be said about anywhere. Boundaries of imagination are not bound here or tailored to suit curatorial programs or hidden agendas.
What are you showing? I’m exploring any and all ideas as a whole to interpret an aesthetic that will best convey an emotion from my artistic message in my work. My everyday life, thoughts and curious experimentation in my art has led me to an enlightenment that I feel transcends through my art work—although sometimes enlightenment can be confused for total belligerence.
I will be showing what I feel is the beginning of an exploration of my own unique creativity, style and work to convey my message of instant gratification art to propel the very concept needed to grasp 21st century art.
What will be the defining aspect of 21st century art? The defining aspect of 21st century art is relevance. It will not consist of perfect execution but of a concept analogous to the morals of the times. A creative, unique, raw aesthetic that will encompass the viewer without explanation from a used car salesmen or commercial gallerist.
If art history has taught us anything, it’s that pre- and post-war economic ups and downs, and society in its progression as a whole, have given art a nuance. The artistic styles, movements and artists in these time periods signify just that. We are on the precipice of a major change much needed right now in our society. I feel that 21st century art will reflect that change and bring back art for art’s sake. I think of the simplistic quote, “Out with the old and in with the new”— artists need to create, and the ones that do will be the ones known to me and you.
What are the pressures/pleasures of having a solo show? The pressures are the pleasures and the pleasures are the pressures. I enjoy everything about the creation of a solo exhibit. Last time we talked I had mentioned how I get that nervous butterfly feeling when showing my work because of the self-derived therapeutic release of everything I was working past at that time. Well, I don’t see that going away—ever—but I don’t think it’s a bad thing, either. It keeps me hungry and humble to do my best work. I paint every day, producing more then a week’s worth of artwork in a week. I put everything into my art and I feel that art does that for me. I hope to see my art do the same for others.
You can check out Eddie Rehm’s solo exhibition “Abandonment to Revelation” at Orchard Windows Gallery through October 30, 2011. Opening Reception is Friday, October 21, 5 to 9 p.m. Artist Reception is Friday, October 28, 5 to 9 p.m. For more information please contact the gallery or artist at orchardwindowsgallery.com or eddierehmart.com.