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Meet Eric Sarbach in Inglewood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Sarbach.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
How to briefly summarize 30 years of art making? First off, I never knew you could be an artist until I entered undergraduate school in Louisiana at LSU in 1987. Being expressive and creative was always a part of growing up but this idea of expressing yourself through the work was a new concept as far as I was concerned. The training I had was very formal and material based processes. Working in a bronze foundry and welding shops while in school really cemented a hands-on approach that has carried out to this day.

Through the years of separation from academia, I worked for a blacksmith in Wales and many metal fabrication shops in Colorado before ending up in New Orleans where I continued my studio practice bouncing around working at Tulane University and working with professional artists in their private studios until I landed a job working on the Mississippi. This allowed me to work and keep a studio practice. After working in two other states at universities running sculpture facilities and teaching, the crossroads I had dragged with me for years, came to a head. Putting eggs in many envelopes and online applications I pushed myself into going for my Master’s Degree. This brought me to Los Angeles and Otis.

It is here that I let myself to be open to a critical relationship with my work, knowing or at least hoping that I could connect to my work in a way that allowed the insight in which find informed direction in my practice. It did that and more and with the unexpected result of adding to my interpretation of my work. Here in LA, I have been able to be surrounded and surround myself with challenging relationships and informative spaces. This environment fosters a pursuit for a informed practice.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The path at times has been smooth and rough, as it should be. Lessons are not the ones purely attributed to success, but the stumbles, face plants and near misses a personal knowledge of your work.

“Some of the struggles” is appropriate to my practice. As an artist that has been linked to space, interior and exterior alike; the struggle is what I latch onto. Meaning: that without the option of “failure” it is not really worth it to pursue a project. Pushing the limits of material interests me, in that I want to find out what is possible without being restricted by a set outcome.

That being said, the struggle I have run into with my practice has been the spaces I have enacted with my installations. The work that I do is meant to engage with space in a way that engages the viewer as well. This will ultimately provide ample questions of safety and building code issues. So much so that I have not done an installation in quite awhile.

This intersection between the space and the public becomes part of the work as well, so there is plenty that is unseen. Writing on these struggles might prove fruitful in an unforeseen avenue into my work.

Please tell us about Eric Sarbach.
I am an artist that uses many different approaches to my work. The enacting of an installation has taken on the material of the 2x4s, used in both indoor and outdoor settings. Never permanent and not something that can be duplicated. And I also do a lot of metal work, usually in private commissions or I recently finished a public piece that with be installed in Maryland.

I am proud of the simple fact that I am still producing in a meaningful way. What I mean by that is, I am able to surprise myself and still be open to learning 30 years down the road. Setting myself apart from others is not really a goal or something I have thought about.

Sitting here just thinking of that question, and every time I feel I am coming up with an answer that could be applied to someone else standing next to me. I have learned, that we are all capable and bring something to the table.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Oh, that’s easy… not really. But there is one that stands out, as I was 15 and hitchhiking with my brother and my cousin. We were wearing trash bags because it was raining and we were just outside of Sedona, Arizona.

A classic adolescent summer story that starts with us being in Arizona for my grandparents 50th anniversary, playing out to three teenage boys hitchhiking back to the place we had only just been there for a few days. This is a story told with more details, I don’t think we have that kind of time.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photo 2: Bryan Bankston

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