Will Eskridge, willeskridge.com, attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Visual Arts/Savannah and earned his B.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts from San Francisco Art Institute in 1999. Eskridge explores many mediums including film and mixed media, but his true love is oil painting. Eskridge’s paintings have been collected nationally and internationally. Originally from Kings Mountain, North Carolina, Will works as a full-time artist and resides in Athens with his wife, their many dogs and cats and has an ongoing restoration of his beloved 1953 Buick.
Athens Art Prints: How do you describe your aesthetic?
Will Eskridge: I describe my aesthetic as "Impressionistic Surrealism”. These two “isms” of art are almost direct opposites in how they express emotion. Like impressionism, my work evokes emotion and the vigor of animals through color and gesture without concern for high detail. I blend this approach with a surrealistic surrounding of simplified geometric shapes and atmospheric, dreamlike backgrounds to represent the absurdity and nonsense that is prevalent in the modern world. These two ‘opposite’ approaches work in contrast to give a push and pull to my work that overall represents the push and pull between nature and technology.
AAP: What motifs, characters or objects are important to you to feature?
WE: Animals and geometric shapes or patterns. At the moment I am preoccupied with the diamond shape and red fox. Last year I was obsessed with polar bears and squares. My dad is a veterinarian and my mom is an artist so I sort of combine the two. I have always had a passion for both animals and art. Living in the modern age, I have come to recognize and become concerned with the dichotomy between animals and the modern world so that is where my art focuses. On a basic level, the geometric shapes and patterns represent the hard-edged modern world.
AAP: What inspires your paintings, and why do you enjoy using acrylic?
WE: Being out in nature and amongst wildlife is the most inspirational for me. I love hiking and we have some beautiful trails right here in the Athens area. Wonderful local wildlife is around as well. In contrast, I am fascinating with outdated and obsolete technology. I tinker on old tvs, film projectors and my ’53 Buick. Working on these old contraptions of man take me back and allow me to explore how technology has progressed, for better or for worse.
AAP: What is it like to be part of the creative community in Athens?
WE: Being a part of the creative community in Athens has been fantastic. I moved here in 2006 and I have met the most genuine and supportive people over the years. There’s a healthy competition which allows the Athenians to push and better ourselves as artists. I tend to be a bit of a recluse these days, I think they call it introverted extrovert now? But when I do venture out to openings and art gatherings, I love seeing and conversing with all the artists and admirers in the community. I feel like there’s a great support for one another. The other thing I like about the creatives in Athens is that there is no age, only art. I am friends with all ages and not once have I ever felt too old or too young. It’s all about the art.
AAP: What first prompted you to sell prints of your work?
WE: Some of my pieces are pretty big and take months to finish. Hence, the originals can be out of the price range or size requirements of many art fans. I want to have a format to allow as many people as possible to be able to acquire and enjoy my work without price or size constraints.