“El Greco goes suburban”
A graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design, Eric White has built up a huge following around the world with exhibitions at the most prestigious galleries and support in group exhibitions at leading art museums, such as the American Visionary Museum, Long Beach Museum of Art, Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico and the Museo d’Arte Contemporanio Roma.
His fame is, perhaps unjustly, seen to stem from his ‘Hollywood’ connections, as his girlfriend is actress Patricia Arquette and he counts Leonardo Dicaprio as a good customer. However, his work stands on its own merits and needs no celebrity patronage to be desired by discerning collectors.
White has flawless technique, mostly working from photographs but introduces surreal elements. Often he blurs time and perception with characters from different timelines in the mix.
His famous portrait of American Civil War hero Joshua Chamberlain is subverted by the addition of two ethereal ‘50s businessmen appearing to probe into him.
There are out of joint floating objects and multiple ghost images pushing the portraits of familiar subjects into another realm. The influence of the Cinema is clear, like the wreckage under the flyover from French Connection (featured image). There is a deep interest in cinema with scenes from Bullit, The Spy who Loved Me, Rosemary’s baby and many others.
Another painting features a scene, in black and white, from The Manchurian Candidate but the actors’ features are deliberately depicted out of focus as if taking part in another of White’s ‘in jokes’.
His work has been described as Surrealism, Neo-Realism and Conceptualism but White keeps his council to himself whilst the LA Weekly described his work as “wooziness enhanced with bilious colours, weird superimpositions, and a tendency to render everything a little wobbly and elongated—El Greco goes suburban.”
Eric White’s stunning work shows distinct nods to Salvador Dali both in its near perfect technique and the jokey treatment of the subjects. One hidden joke in an earlier painting is in his use of the name ‘Rose Selavey’, one of French artist Marcel Duchamps alter-egos.
At only forty-six years old, White surely has plenty more years to, as critic Carlo McCormick put it, “paint for the global village idiot that is all of us today.”