East End artist Eddie Rehm does not paint beaches. No Hamptons streets here, no boats or bucolic scenes. Rehm’s images are driven by emotions, both those he feels and those he hopes his work will elicit, such as with the paintings he will hang at the Dan’s Papers Cover Artist Show on August 20. One sentiment already on display is his excitement at being among other top Long Island artists at the event. “All the artists are very talented. Just to see some of the other artists and what they’ve achieved, the work itself and the aesthetic of it and how they go about it and their own personal style. It really is an honor of recognition to be there.”
On Having His Work on a Dan’s Papers Cover
It’s a prestigious honor to be asked. I was pretty ecstatic about it. I was actually kind of surprised. I believe that my artwork isn’t the typical Long Island style of artwork that’s usually associated by the norm, not your typical landscape or beach shot. I felt very honored, because it kind of goes against the grain of what’s normally shown on the front cover. The piece itself is named “Startling Confliction of Belligerence,” to give you an idea just how outside the box it is.
On His Influences
It’s nothing more than taking an introverted idea, a memory, a thought, and correlating it to a message that others can understand from the piece itself. The influence of my art is mostly self-derived, it’s mostly an outlet. Basically, I was the typical story of got married, bought a house, pretty much had everything going, had my own business, and then everything just kind of fell apart, and when it rains it pours—family, friends, people died. It was a crazy time in my life. I’ve always been dealing in art, since my teenage years, but life kind of takes you away from things sometimes and then brings you back, and since I started back up about two to three years ago I’ve done it pretty much nonstop, every day.
On the Emotional Side of His Art
The best part of art is getting a feeling from it. I have this one term, instant gratification abstract. You get that therapeutic sense of release, of emotions I’m dealing with, and try to bring it to life. It’s kind of cool to see others acceptance of your work, because when you do art, you put yourself out there to some degree, especially if you’re self-derived, drawing off your own emotion and thought and you’re really putting yourself on canvas, you sometimes get that butterfly feeling.
On Calling Himself “The First Artist to Paint on the Factory Sealed Plastic of a Manufactured Canvas”
When you go to a store, what do they have? They have canvas. Any size. So when you get that 16 by 20 canvas, you’re supposed to work off the canvas. But not everything in life is what it seems. So I took the idea that the plastic that wraps the canvas itself is what they want me to paint off. They don’t just want me to take the canvas out, raw and untouched.
On the Future
The next exhibition I have is a solo in at the Orchard Window Galleries in Manhattan in October, “Abandonment to Revelation”—nothing more than I’m formally out of that hole of despair and I’m able to see my whole situation, really bringing the energy that comes from positivity, not negativity. The next couple of years I really want to progress as an artist, just keep diving into many thoughts and ideas.