#drawing #mystery #figurative #dream @ethan.price.art

Interview with Ethan Price



Ethan Price currently works and resides in Lexington, Kentucky. His work implements a delicate handling of drawing, punctuated by various textured overlays to create a body of work that evokes mystery, decay, and the passage of time. There is an inherent blend of tension and tactile qualities with each piece. The subjects are often isolated in negative space, appearing halfway into a dream-like state, slowly fading out of focus with the edges of the form being chipped away or obscured.

After graduating from a university program, his primary focus was design and commercial art, but now focuses primarily on personal work and exhibitions. 


What concept or narrative is behind your work?

Growing up in an incredibly rural town, I didn’t have many options for entertainment and distraction, so from early on I was always really drawn to imaginative and other-worldly ideas, and exploring that through various creative pursuits. I’ve always been interested in surrealist themes, dreams, ghost stories, and any kind of unexplainable “unknown”. Ultimately, I try to stay true to what I find interesting and respond to on a visceral level, so the reoccurring concept and theme typically ends up being dreamy, eerie, and phantasmal. As an extension of that motif, there’s usually some level of ambiguous narrative and anonymity in the work. I typically do have my own personal interpretation of every finished piece, but I find the often ambiguous nature of my work leaves room for the viewer to place themselves and their own experiences in to what I create.

Faith  | graphite on mylar | 12×16

Faith | graphite on mylar | 12×16

What is the price range of your art?

Typically between $800-$3,000.

How true are you to your artist statement?

I would like to think I stay pretty pure in my intent. My work may shift incrementally in its exploration of theme from time to time, but ultimately there’s always a sincerity and authenticity of the work created. Life is too short to start trying to make personal work to fit some perceived expectation, and you’re never going to make your best pieces when you start second guessing what you’re putting out there.

Phantom Pain  | graphite on Mylar | 10x10 inches

Phantom Pain | graphite on Mylar | 10x10 inches

How much time does it take you to create an artwork?

It really depends. Since I use a lot of graphite pencils and delicate rendering, it takes me a while to build things up to the level I want them to be at, so even small-scale works take a while. I usually spend two to three weeks on a piece, from initial idea to finish.

What is your ultimate goal for your artwork?

With figurative and representational work, it can be easy to get by, in my opinion, on technique. There’s always going to be somebody out there who can make a better portrait, or a figure study, or whatever, so I always aim to pull from something deeper than just craft. As much as I love a beautifully executed piece of technical work, in this day and age, with a constant flood of imagery at our fingertips, I think it’s more important than ever to try and deliver something more than just another nice drawing. Inciting something deeper to the viewer, and making work that is personally meaningful are always the end goal.

One Hundred Years  | graphite on mylar | 11×14

One Hundred Years | graphite on mylar | 11×14

Do you ever venture out of your creative process to try out new things?

I’m lucky enough to work at a design agency that provides me a lot of creative freedom during the day so I’m always trying something new in terms of media and focus. Drawing is my mainstay and the realm I feel most comfortable in, but I also do a lot of digital work and dabble in video collage when I have the time. I think it’s important to have a lot of creative outlets to constantly pull new ideas from, and it can be easy to get stuck in a rut focusing on only one avenue. 

What inspires you?

Vivid dreams, nostalgia, old Polaroids and black and white photography, phantoms, all my creative friends, mentors, and colleagues being brave and driven to keep putting meaningful work out there. 

Explain your process.

Unfortunately I’m not one of those artists who is constantly flooded by ideas for new pieces, so I don’t sketch too often. I’ll look at found photography a lot for inspiration, or from random sentence fragments and titles I write down. I usually start with a few rough thumbnails to help the model I’m working with get a better idea of what I’m going for. I like to keep things loose at this stage so whoever I’m shooting with can bring in a bit of their own personality to the piece. I’ll get a pretty tightly rendered drawing ready on mylar using various reference photos, and then use solvents and rubbing alcohol to achieve the more gestural and textured parts of my drawings.

Paper Tiger  | graphite on mylar | 12×12 |   Available from Rehs Contemporary > TELEPHONE US 212.355.5710

Paper Tiger | graphite on mylar | 12×12 | Available from Rehs Contemporary > TELEPHONE US 212.355.5710

DOWNLOAD the catalog for I OBSERVE featuring Ethan Price’s art available from Rehs Contemporary.


#mylar #contemporaryart #graphite #art