Fred Escher @ Catbox Contemporary, Ridgewood, NY

Killer Diorama, Fred Escher, Catbox Contemporary, Ridgewood, NY

“I can’t talk about art or ideas or the creative act. I dream, day and night. Most of the time I dream about something that didn’t happen to me and is not going to happen to me. It is called thinking, and that is a riddle wrapped inside a mystery and inside, is a mystery of me. My thinking is like watching TV. Nothing happens. I want to be lobotomized by boredom.
I dream as if it were happening, both past and present, day and night. People talk about ideas and inspiration. I don’t think I have that kind of body or mind.
I don’t know where dreams come from and I don’t know where you go to find ideas; you either have a helium connection to feelings or you don’t. I can’t talk about dreams or what things mean. I have silence in my brain and it sits on my tongue. Hiding in my head is the dream and I pick up a brush or a pencil and let it out. I can’t put it into words, I can only paint or draw it.
If you find a dream, work with it, if you don’t have dreams get a job (I worked at CVI making stretchers for 25 years). If you read a book or a newspaper or travel to another country, that is good for your life, but don’t take that stuff into your studio. I don’t know what influences me, or who; but I am guilty of looking at art.
I do not feel like I missed anything by not painting or drawing for 26 years. If you stop breathing you die, if you stop making art, nothing happens, you just find something else to do.
Now, I feel like painting and here I am: a painter.”

Escher received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin in 1967. His work has been shown at a variety of venues in solo and group exhibitions, including; Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), Phyllis Kind Gallery (NY, NY), Moma PS1, Museo Tamayo (Mexico City, Mexico), Nancy Lurie Gallery (Chicago, IL), and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Escher’s work has been reviewed widely, including in The New York Times, Art in America, and Art Forum. In 2015, Escher received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Grant. He currently splits his time between New York and Mexico.