Introducing Ethan Evanchak, Denver, Colorado Artist
About the Artist:
Over the last 10 years I’ve turned my interest in the medium from a sporadic practice into a semi regular one. For the longest time I would make something and just tuck it away, unsure of what to do with it or where it belonged. Collage felt really private to me, and it still does, but I think I’ve reached a point where I feel like the point of making art is to share it.
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Process Shot, Self-Portrait, Studio Pic
I’ve learned to be more less intentional regarding the process and not the composition. A good work space and spontaneous practice yields better results; things flow. Sitting down and planning out a time and place makes the end result less exciting.
Painting Silver, 2021
I use the medium out of necessity and proximity. Often my source materials are junk mail, catalogs or found magazines. I view cut out photographs as more multifaceted than paint on a palette. The colors are mixed, the textures are already formed. It’s ready-made quality is conducive to quickly tethering slippery, subconscious ideas. Or my ideas expand as the cut pieces fall into place. Something I like to keep in mind is that I want to share something relatable. I try to convey a sense of playfulness in my work.
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Top Panel - Untitled, 2021 / Neptune, 2021 / Untitled, 2021
Bottom Panel - Untitled, 2021 / Untitled, 2021 / Untitled, 2019
I see myself as a hobbyist. I haven’t had any art education outside of high school, but I think my lack of knowledge works to my advantage. Not knowing whether I have anything new to add to the conversation or the impression that everything has been done before, is much more liberating.
I am an amateur thought criminal mutilating magazines and these are my ransom notes.
Seat’s Taken, 2021
Q & A with the artist:
DA: I relate to your view that art is meant to be shared. I feel that the piece cannot be finished by the creator. It is only when we put it out there and the viewer interacts with it (whether we are privy to it or not), that is when I feel a piece is finished. Not sharing my art is equivalent to being stuck in my own head! Can you tell us how you came to this understanding in your own artistic practice? I saw that your first Instagram post was in May 2020, in the thick of the pandemic. Any connection?
EE: I think I came to that understanding because I had been working on so much and not doing anything with it. I can relate to the feeling of being stuck inside my own head. I don’t share my creative work until I feel like it's good enough to put it out there and be okay with someone having an opinion about it. I think right around the beginning of 2020 I might have had this sort of “it’s now or never” feeling, but I actually took a month-long break from making any collages. I felt like there were a lot of important things going on in the world and sharing my art on Instagram wasn't one of them. I also worked in a restaurant through that whole year. I guess I’m ready for that next step, to have conversations, and hopefully find out where my work lies in a historical context.
DA: Collage artists appropriate and re-contextualise images. When we separate images from their original context viewers then can renegotiate the meaning of the original, existing imagery. You talked about the subconscious bubbling up in your artwork. What are your thoughts on Carl Yung's theories of the collective unconscious and our shared visual library?
EE: My knowledge of the theory is surface level but I think it's appealing. I’d like to think of the visual library as literally a collection of magazines with a consciousness of their own. If the material already exists in one way, does it already exist, in the way I put it together, maybe in another dimension? It’s a fatalistic theory, but I do often find myself thinking that two images were just meant for each other. I like thinking that my collages are representative of archetypes. Is that true? I don’t know. Maybe that’s why I like one word titles. Or maybe they represent one vague facet of an archetype. Can archetypes be multi faceted or is that another archetype?
DA: What projects do you have in the works that we can look forward to this year and beyond?
EE: I hope I can just keep doing what I’ve been doing and keep up the pace. I’d like to apply some of what I’ve learned through sharing my collages to my other practices like writing and playing music.
Check out Ethan's tune recommendation The Hate I Won't Commit by Land of Talk. Yesssssss.