Edward Crowell II is an artist on the rise. Inspired by Latin jazz, poetry and notions of hedonism, freedom and desire, he sat down with Wonderland to discuss his hugely varied output.
Where are you from and where are you based now?
I am from Montgomery, Alabama which is the birthplace of civil rights, but I grew up in the suburbs outside of Montgomery in a city called Pike Road. I’ve been in Miami now for two years.
Can you describe your art in one sentence.
Rapture modules, loneliness, Alabama civil rights movement, animal magic, enamel, pleasure, romantic longing, vetiver, escapism at its finest, telephones, blurry rivers, pink, black, Europe, water, plexiglass, women, the past, the balance between being in the now whilst thinking of the past and the future, scribbling, breaking glass, oil sticks, neon back lit, repetition, motion, hedonism, pleasure, sound, pleasure at all conscious intentional costs, commotion, her kiss, fall, winter, thoughts of winter in the summer, desire to travel, sensuality, luxury, feeling vs. thinking, singularity, and the art of enjoyment are some of the possible doorways to describe my art.
You use text in your work, especially in the “Poetic Ramblings” series. Take us through the concept of this.
Prior to moving to Miami, while I was in LA, I was composing music and I would sing and write lyrics. I began writing poetry in college because I fell in love with a girl from France who was in my life for a short period of time. The pain of her departure became an opportunity for me to get lost in the romanticism of what was. It became escapism and ongoing poetic expression and romantic ramblings. The words come from stream of consciousness and cognitive dissonance and lyrics from past songs that I’ve written. I haven’t quoted any others as of yet but I’m pondering that idea.
What’s next for you?
I will build big plexi glass boxes, put polypropylene speakers inside, fill them partially with water, and then run audio through them. I love sound synthesis and acoustic sound design. I am intending for these shows to take place at a London gallery and a gallery in New York.
If you had to create a piece of art, any medium, entitled “Wonderland”, what would it be?
Hmm, Wonderland. When I think of that word, for some reason I want to attach winter to it. Plus I am so in love with winter, and that happens to be a driving force behind the majority of my “Romantic Ramblings” series of paintings. So I were tying myself to the theme, it would be a culmination of my text paintings on plexi glass, filled with water and a polypropelene speaker. I would create a wonderland sound track to play through the water filled plexi glass and for each plexi glass box there would be a certain scent like vetiver. I would incorporate a timer based light installation to go with each of the syncopated sounds of the boxes. It would be a blissful sensory overload of so many things whilst being very easy for the human to grasp and want to grasp in their own way. Extremely non-abrasive.
Words: Heike Wollenweber