Artist Charlie Edmiston Shares the Story Behind His Work
By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Before the coronavirus pandemic upended the art world, Palisadian Charlie Edmiston had his first solo exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia, at A Better View Gallery, which featured his minimalist relief paintings in a display titled Carbon Copy.
The series of paintings were identical in design, but unique in both material and color used. According to a description of the exhibition, Edmiston used the concept of replication to ask an open-ended question, what is different and what is the same?
Edmiston has been creating art since he can remember. His grandmother was a cartoonist for a Beverly Hills newspaper up until a few months ago and his father is a talented calligrapher.
“I definitely had it in my blood,” he shared.
But in high school, Edmiston developed an interest in graffiti art and painting larger spaces. When he took on Palisades Charter High School’s end of the year project, his eyes went beyond the designated doors they were tasked with.
“There were already a couple of murals at Pali … but there was a giant walkway that goes down to the football stadium,” Edmiston recalled. “I asked if I could paint that as my end of the year project.”
So he prepared a proposal and met with the principal before receiving the green light and a small budget to paint a massive mural.
“It was kind of this crazy thing that no one had seen or knew was coming,” he shared.
Edmiston graduated from Pali High in 2005, and over time, the murals were vandalized and painted over—but he left a legacy and inspired those after him to paint larger spaces across the campus.
By that time Edmiston knew that art was what he was ultimately going to pursue. He applied to art school and went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.
“When I was in high school and middle school and up until the beginning of college, I was doing representational work, oil portraits and painting representational things, and I was really inspired by surrealism—Dalí and that style,” Edmiston said. “And simultaneously, I was doing very colorful graphic graffiti on the side, completely separate from fine art.”
In 2006, Edmiston experimented and merged the two.
“What I found was I was really interested because I knew there were a million different places I could go from there,” he said. “So I just continued with that and I’ve never really looked back.”
Edmiston described his work now as non-representational, hard-edge and abstract.
For a long time, he would paint two-dimensional work on wood panels but has recently been exploring three-dimensional work and has been in an experimental phase.
Edmiston works with a gallery in Downtown LA, Avenue des Arts, and has an upcoming exhibit, tentatively scheduled for fall of this year.
For more information or to take a virtual tour of Carbon Copy, visit charliee.com.
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