Back to His First Love: The Art of Eric Basstein

August 15, 2017

Dutch artist Eric Basstein recently put away his turntables and went back to his childhood love - painting. After over 15 years of playing at clubs, festivals and being very involved in Dutch music scene, he decided to continue his painting practice which he stopped after 2 years at art academy.

Inspired by the similarities between art and music, the way tunes are created by combining samples just like paintings are constructed by layering imagery, he developed a process that uses this approach when constructing work. Combining images from fashion magazines with a piece of a comic book illustration or a part of classic painting, felt similar to sampling a bass line or snare when creating hip hop music. Influenced by the likes of Velasquez, Caravaggio, Rubens or Francis Bacon, as well as the music by A Tribe Called Quest, MF Doom or Madlib, he spent about a year and half locked in his studio, just working on his skills and building his visual language. Starting his process with research through magazines and books, Eindhoven-based artist isn't looking for particular imagery, but just picks pictures that resonate with him. Using selected elements to create abstract collages he plays with this non-restrictive puzzle until it feels right. The finished composition is than translated into acrylic on canvas with some extra additions such as color changes or background elements being added last. The finished pieces are graphic based fusion of various elements that form distinctive images which often play with perspective or classic art formats, as well as give strong nod to familiar icons of popular culture. —Sasha Bogojev