We start the New Year off with a cool, clean breeze...please enjoy the beautifully modeled, sweetly handled surfaces in the art of Jonathan Edelhuber. Even if your bag is not animals, rainbows and flowers (with the heads of historical leaders popping up from time to time) it may be after you see this amazing set of pictures.
INTERVIEW by Richard Mullins
Unable to find much biography on you I have to ask the standard stuff such as; where and when were you born, where did you grow up and who are your most important influences as artist?
I was born in Arkansas, 1984. I grew up in a small town there called Searcy. I would say some of my most important influences would be people like Robert Rauschenberg, Willem de Kooning, Frida Kahlo, Henry Darger and a ton of others. There are really too many to name, but those are a few. I'm also really into Neo Rauch's work. He's amazing.
In your already significant body of work you employ relatively few themes. These subjects include: birds, insects, plant forms, historical portraits and rainbows. I detect a an interest in ecology and history as a point of investigation in your work. Am I on the right track and if so how does it all add up?
You're right on! I love that stuff. As a child I would go to flea marketswith my friend and his dad and buy old furniture and things and refinish them This piqued my interest of pretty much anything old....books, coins, portraits...It was all so interesting to me. I bring a lot of this stuff into my work. I paint them how I want to see them. When I look at an old book or a crackly old piece of furniture, it gives me a feeling that's hard to describe. I try to show a glimpse of that feeling through my work.
You model very well and often use monochrome red for the central figure. Other than yellow I can't think of a more challenging hue for this. Any significance to red or is it just the crayon that stands out in the box for you?
People usually ask about the red first. While it holds some personal significance to me, I do find it just an enjoyable color to work with. I guess explaining my reasons behind the red color is a little difficult so...I just like red. :)
About how many hours do you think it takes you to paint a typical piece. I'm looking at ..."what came of the two" (detail below) and the attention to detail is amazing. You must maintain super patience and concentration skills.
It's really hard to say. I usually begin with a few layers of gesso and after that dries I work on the backgrounds. I'll usually do this in a night. I would say the rest depends on how intricate the piece is. "what came of the two" probably took me 3 nights at a few hours a night to finish (give or take a few). It's an 8x10 inch piece so you can kind of judge other pieces from that. I'm finding that I really enjoy working on the tiny details...It's not so much super patience and concentration, but more of an obsession with the enjoyment of it.
You live and work in Nashville but you seem to exhibit often in L.A. Are you able to get out to the coast see your shows?
I've done several shows out there, but have only been able to make it out there once. It was such an awesome experience! The West Coast is a different and amazing place...very much its own.
Along the same lines of folks seeing your work, how does posting on Flickr
affect how you see your work? I've been at this since the early 90s so I really like not having to work in a vacuum because as soon as you finish and post a piece a huge number of people can see it instantly.
I love Flickr. It's so good to be able to finish a piece like you said and just stick it up for all to see. Having feedback is great as well and I think it pushes artists to be better at what they're doing. I also love looking around at all the other art on there. There are sooo many extremely talented artists and having a tool like Flickr makes it incredibly easy to view other artist's work who might be living on the complete opposite side of the world. We're living in an amazing time!
I came across photos of a solo show you did on some cat's blog. How did the crowd react to the small size of the paintings in such a large space?
That show seemed to go very well. Having such a large space with such small paintings forced people to come in close with each piece. I think this made it more intimate to the viewer.
Any future series or plans you want to reveal?
I don't have any shows planned at the moment. I'm really just wanting to paint for myself and push my work without the pressure of having to do a show. As for any series coming up...keep checking Flickr!!!