Eddie Colla attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and graduated from the California College of Arts with a BFA in photography/interdisciplinary fine arts in 1991. He began his artistic career as a photographer,working first for the New York Times and later countless magazines, record labels and ad agencies. 15 years later he has morphed into one who counters the all-pervasive nature of commercialism in public spaces. Since 2005, his wheatpastes and stencils can be found throughout public spaces in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Miami. Eddie Colla lives and works in Oakland, California.
1xRUN Thru Interview
Radio Yau Ma Tei by Eddie Colla
1xRun: When were these pieces created?
Eddie Colla: In March of 2012.
1xRun: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Eddie Colla: This piece is part of an ongoing series around this character: Bike Girl. The text on the piece loosely translated says “I have a name, but it doesn’t matter” The pieces are vignettes of her life and part of a larger story. The story takes place in Hong Kong.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Eddie Colla: I had a rough idea and layout of this image., but I didn’t really want to make a straight giclee for it. I wanted some randomness and some expression in them. The embellishing wasn’t very planned, I’d just sit down with some prints and go at it. It changed from day to day and the prints done at the beginning and at the end feel pretty different.
1xRun: How long did the piece take?
Eddie Colla: After I had the base prints, I spent about a week embellishing them.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Eddie Colla: The gold images are real unique. It’s the first time I’ve tried working with gold in this way. Each print is really different from the other. There’s a lot of embellishing on these and they are all pretty unique.
1xRun: Why should people buy this piece?
Eddie Colla: Because when you bring a date back to your house, if there is a lull in the conversation, you can talk about this print. It may be the difference between getting laid and not getting laid.
1xRun: Any suggestions for framing?
Eddie Colla: Because of the edges and distressing I think float framing would probably look best. However I am also a big fan of stapling shit to the wall.
1xRun: Describe the Radio Yau Ma Tei in one gut reaction word.
Eddie Colla: Residue.
1xRun: When did you first start making art?
Eddie Colla: With my Dad, at the kitchen table when I was 4 or 5.
1xRun: What was your first piece?
Eddie Colla: The first one I remember was a really badly drawn copy of the “Jaws” movie poster. Followed by poorly drawn scenes from the movie
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on?
Eddie Colla: I grew up in New Jersey so the first museum I ever went to was The Met. My mom took me there a couple of times when I was real little. So I was exposed to some really amazing stuff early on. When I was a kid I think Warhol was my favorite. It was easy to relate to.
1xRun: What artists inspire you now?
Eddie Colla: This is always hard, I always forget someone really important. Here’s some in no specific order. Meggs, Bask, Hush, Blek LeRat, Dyoung V, Ian Ross, Shark Toof, Cryptik, Hugh Leeman, Estria, Suitman, David Soukup, Brett Amory, Kid Zoom, David Choe, Homo Riot and El Mac. All for different reasons, but those are some names that come to mind currently.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Eddie Colla: listen to music. I kinda use it to regulate My mood. So if I’m dragging my ass, I’ll listen to some old metal like Iron Maiden or Dio or AC/DC, perhaps to summon up a younger less tired version of myself. If I’m stressed, I’ll listen to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. If I’m trying to relax I might listen to Frank Sinatra. It’s kinda schizophrenic, I’ll jump from Skinnyman to Earth Wind and Wire to the Cure to Foreign Beggars to Louis Armstrong. It’s like medication, keeps me balanced.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
Eddie Colla: David Choe. There’s something about the immediacy, the urgency of his work that is appealing to me. Also there’s a strong chance there’d be strippers.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
Eddie Colla: Photographer Larry Sultan, not because I think we’d do a great collaboration, it would just be nice to see him again.
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
Eddie Colla: I remember buying a walnut shell that someone made look like a mouse using pieces of felt when I was about 4. I bought it for my grandmother for Christmas. I think my mom still has it.
1xRun: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Eddie Colla: Hmmmmm I traded with Ian Ross for a piece.
Eddie Colla: A couple mural/public art projects in the Bay Area. A book design with Lyrics Born. I am curating a wall in Oakland for the next six months with various rotating artists. A show at Hold Up Art in LA with D young V and Hugh Leeman in September. That and continuing to work with apparel stuff for fiftyseven-thirtythree.com
1xRun: Where can people find you across the wide world of the internette?