It’s time to step into Erick Artik’s moonlit, vibrant and positively pop-flavored studio. Fascinated by pop culture icons and committed to cleverly combining them with interesting broader messages, he’s bringing street art into the home – with some serious style.
Read on to learn about his artistic process, daily rituals and idealdinner guests…
Good morning, Erick! Congratulations on your upcoming participation in Art Basel Miami! What are you most looking forward to?
Thank you. To be honest, when you participate in an event like Art Basel, you’re always going to be nervous about revealing your work to others – the public, professionals, collectors, gallerists, other artists… There’s a very intimate, almost secret element that you’re about to present to the world, never knowing what the reception will be like.
I’ve just completed a collection dedicated to Marilyn Monroe. With such a timeless subject, the bar is high, but we’ll see!
What inspires you to create every day?
My inspiration primarily comes from a message or theme that challenges me, or makes me smile or reflect. Colors and forms then come to me spontaneously, almost instinctively.
Do you have any studio rituals?
I work at night, barefoot and with music playing.
Describe the core of your technique or style.
I have different techniques that I use depending on the theme of the painting. I mainly work with acrylic and brushes, but also use a knife for a more natural effect, as well as a marker to achieve close precision. The colors and forms are simply how I dress my messages – they therefore vary and adapt according to the thematic circumstances I create. The years I spent working in the fashion industry surely contributed to this approach and discipline.
On the other hand, my artistic vision does have recurring elements: I do close-ups, sharp focus, and consequently have a preference for large format. I like putting emphasis on attitudes and looks…
What is it about pop culture that interests you so?
I like the surprising association of contrasting ideas that co-exist, and I like to explore contemporary phenomena. I also enjoy breaking down the walls of street art and bringing its spirit into people’s homes – I love the twist this creates!
If you could have dinner with three of the icons you’ve depicted in your work, who would you choose and why?
Firstly, Bono – because U2, for me, is a prime example of an intergenerational pop band. They’re always engaged in positive action, putting on concerts in unlikely locations to touch people’s spirits and pass on their message. They’re committing unarmed revolution in choosing words and music to promote tolerance, peace, love and solidarity.
Next, I’d choose Catwoman. She’s extremely agile and even if she doesn’t really exist, it would nonetheless be very interesting to share a meal with her – anything goes!
Finally, Marilyn. Only her and God really know who she is… I could finally unlock her mystery.
What do you like to do to unwind after a day’s work?
Sport. I need to do some physical activity – I love football and boxing.
What’s your overall favorite aspect of the creative process?
I like to feel disconnected from reality, in fact you could say I paint in a ‘second’ state. I’m no longer in reality – it’s like a bubble I enter that offers me comfort and freedom from the usual and numerous limits and constraints.