Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Republic Worldwide Artist Eric Diehl (INTERVIEW) : On View at Bushwick Open Studios 2012 - This Weekend!

As Republic Worldwide Artist Eric Diehl gets set to open the doors to the place where he does his best work we sit down with him to talk about Bushwick, Brooklyn and BROOKLYN OPEN STUDIOS 2012 this week end!
For maps and exhibitors please visit or

And dont forget to vist  for more images and great deals on some of his best work including his series of rooftop paintings of Bushwick from above!

(Republic WorldWide) Where is your studio?

(Eric Diehl) I'm in the NY Studio Factory building at 44 Stewart Ave, off the Jefferson stop on the L.

(RWW) Tell me a little about how you became involved in the arts.

(E.D.) From growing up in a more rural town of Pennsylvania, I didn't have a whole lot of outside distractions, so I've always been involved in the arts from a young age - maybe 3 or 4 with the drawing and painting, and then around 6 I started playing piano and singing, later switching to saxophone.  I also spent a lot of time acting in a local regional theater during my teenage years.  The one constant was visual art, which I probably decided (secretly) around 13-14 that I wanted to pursue in college and later on as a career.

(RWW) Why did you choose to set up your studio in Bushwick?

(E.D.) When I started renting 3 years ago, Bushwick seemed like the most accessible neighborhood to where I was living in Bed-Stuy, and quite frankly, the only neighborhood in north Brooklyn in which I could afford renting a studio space.  I think many other artists before and after me had those reasons to get a space in Bushwick, but it fits because a lot of the buildings that haven't been converted into studios are still working businesses that are busy, loud, and bustling during the work week.  I like that energy, and so I try to schedule my studio hours similarly to their hours of operation.  Most days I'm not beginning at 9am sharp, but I at least put in a full days work when I get into "the office".

(RWW) What do you think are some of the advantages of working in this neighborhood?

(E.D.) Space economy and location. Although it's now becoming more expensive to live/work in Bushwick, the fact that it's on the L and JMZ trains with a quick commute to the entire downtown Manhattan art world will never change...and the legitimacy of Bushwick's own gallery market should only grow because of that.   Another major advantage is being amongst so many creative individuals leading to a healthy competitive energy in the neighborhood.  Any time I get too complacent, I'll find someone's work that challenges me to push beyond what I'm comfortable with.  I also reap much emotional support from other artist friends to keep working and vice versa.

(RWW) How does the neighborhood inspire you? How does it influence your work?

(E.D.) The remnants of manufacturing and industry that still exists motivates my work habits in trying to keep regular studio hours, but I'd say the flat planes of concrete, brick, and stone - whose perceived colors are constantly changing with the daylight is the most special to me.  It definitely influences my work, and many cityscape views of the neighborhood sneak into my paintings.  With many manufacturing buildings lacking windows, the broad sections of walls and roofs allows me to focus on what the light is doing, rather than getting too distracted with perspective lines and drawing.  And the anonymity of many buildings allows me to dream about their history and back story and what they used to house or produce in their glory days.

(RWW) Can you tell me about a few of your favorite places to visit outside of your studio in Bushwick?

(E.D.) Yes. A major stop is definitely rooftops of other friends' studios. The Troutman building has a beautiful deck. But then I also get excited about Drink and Draw at 3rd Ward on Wednesday nights, El Fogon for some tacos and a beer on Flushing Ave, and watching cars get impounded across the street from my studio on Stewart Ave.  In contrast, riding my bicycle past the Waste Management station around Johnson and Varick on a hot summer's eve is probably the worst, though.  Try it and you'll know why.