Eric Mack’s two-person show at Almine Rech in Paris put the artist in the spotlight this fall. His abstract sculptures, which he makes out of alternatively found and purchased materials, relate to the readymades of Isa Genzken but with the painterly impulse of a Julian Schnabel. The joy of Mack’s multimedia sculptures is their uncanny formal balance, which seems to give familiar objects renewed meanings. One marvels at the memories and association that a painted pistachio shell can set off.
What teacher did you learn the most from in school? I actually think I learned the most from my mom. I think she always had a real sense of aesthetics and beauty, placement and design. It’s really quite natural and effortless. The way she sets up her home, points of decoration, she ends up speaking through those selections.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? Do no be afraid to change.
What was your first gallery experience? My first gallery, I’m still with them, Moran Bondaroff. I had maybe been to L.A. only once before so it really was a foreign place. Feeling the heat of the sun, the climate in February was super disorienting. It felt like my work had traveled a long way. The response was good, so it was nice to feel my work could be effective elsewhere.
How do you know when something you made is good? I know when something is good when the work can fulfill multiple desires at once; there is dexterity to the language of the work. It seats within itself, but it’s not about a singular reading or history or language–those things end up fusing.
When you are not at the studio, where are you? I like to wander. Go for walks. Window shop.
If you could trade with anyone, who would it be? Sigmar Polke.