Skateboarder and artist Eric McHenry shows off his quirky and super cool illustrations in his first solo exhibition at the Slow Culture Gallery. McHenry’s exhibition, The Terrible Tusk Show, features sketches, photographs and various mixed media pieces that really take us from the gallery to art in the streets. We got a chance to talk with Eric and see what his work is all about.
LA CANVAS: What is The Terrible Tusk Show?
ERIC MCHENRY: It’s my first Los Angeles solo exhibition showing a new body of work created over the past 8 months or so, and about half of this new work is on stationary. I Work a 9 to 5 job so it was real easy to just throw a notepad in my bag and just get out an idea or a thought really quick. I can’t necessarily bring a large sheet of pure white paper back and forth to work. So in this show, you get to see a lot of my thought process and multiple versions of the same drawing. It’s just me figuring it out.
LAC: What got you into illustration and the type of art that you create and what inspires or influences your work?
EM: Skateboarding. When I started skating I got into skate art quickly after. My older brother and I used to redraw the Blind graphics from the tiny CCS deck section. I used to buy boards just for the artist, and not for the skater or brand…still do I suppose. Lately I’ve spending more time is museums and galleries trying to familiarize myself with as many new and old artists as I can. And that’s what inspires me too. Getting exposed to new art and learning.
LAC: We’ve noticed this comical, newspaper cartoon-like style. What’s the process like?
EM: Most of it will stem from a little sketch that I like and I’ll just try and give it as much emotion and make it as animated as I feel it needs. Creating this “dialogue” without actually saying anything. I listen to a lot of movies or music while I’m working, so quotes will get reappropriated in a piece a lot of the time.
LAC: What do you love about LA and being an artist in LA?
EM: I’m not originally from Los Angeles, I’ve only been here for about two years now, but in that short of amount of time I’ve been fortunate enough to surround myself around creative minds and people that I can genuinely call friends. There are so many different characters and scenes in LA. I’ve just been keeping an open mind and trying to explore whatever I can, whenever I can. Like one night I’ll be at a Trash talk show getting beat up and the next day I’ll be at the friends gallery in Highland Park working on shit, next day i’ll just clock into the 9-5 graphics job. I’m thankful that LA provides all of that.
Check out Eric’s work at Slow Culture in Highland Park ongoing until July 11th.
Follow skateboarder Danny Garcia’s visual journey through the streets of Los Angeles in this video by Colin Kennedy, weaving together the twilight scenes of a city often described as gritty. Simple in concept, the music video showcases the beauty of the city often missed in the modern Angeleno’s hustle-and-bustle. It’s the perfect accompaniment for the calming and uplifting ambient feel of the song itself, a track entitled “Pyrakantha” by band Balmorhea.