Deep tones, conflicted skylines, graffiti and grit play into the paintings of prolific Richmond artist, Ed Trask. We caught up with Trask while he installed his current show at Farmville, Va.’s j fergeson Gallery. Here he is with the largest piece in the show: a six-panel painting (depicting Route 5 near Rockett’s Landing in Richmond) that he originally made for an exhibit in L.A.
He broke it down for us:
If you’re familiar with Ed’s work you might notice that he’s been doing something interesting to with his skies and telephone wires lately. He says he’s felt re-energized about painting now that he’s experimenting with these linear elements.
This is where the painting began. Ed started by painting this angel-like figure, a Buddhist symbol which is said to lead believers to the next life. But something about that didn’t feel right.
“I realized I’m not Buddhist,” he says. And changed direction.
So back to the art around him: The work is set less than a mile from Millie’s Diner, where Trask works on and off, and depicts the coal-carrying trains that run through Richmond. He painted the tags of famous graffiti artists on the train cars. The small box on the yellow car is in the style of international tagger Space Invader.
If you can’t swing the $12,000 for this 96-by-180-inch “Flowers and Bones,” there’s more to choose from.
And this one, “Trapt in Pursuit,” has a particularly awesome sky.
While we were at the gallery, Trask was preparing a paint-by-numbers drawing for visitors to participate in during the show’s opening. Fun idea.
And here it is in action at the opening. Trask has experience with the format: He often teaches mural painting to kids in much the same way.
If you miss this show at j fergeson gallery, smaller works by Trask will be on view at Richmond’s Quirk Gallery in March.