Cesar Erhard

” My artwork is a canvas of the potential films in my mind.”

S: How would you describe your artwork?  

C: I would describe my artwork as raw and unfettered: There are blemishes, there are rugged delineations, and there are the words accompanying. My artwork is a canvas of the potential films in my mind.

S: How did you first become involved with making art? Is this your full-time passion?

C: My first memory of making art was copying the pose of SpiderMan from my underwear as a child. I was amazed at the force in which the line could render emotion and information from a simple action pose. And I was struck by the way the blank page evoked a sense of creation, of wonderment, a kind of urge that needed to see the page marked up. Art is one of my full-time passions, but the most essential in terms of healing.

S: What inspiration do you draw from your artwork?

C: My work inspires me to keep a level of unpredictability and poetic resonation in my life. That is, I want to be drawn into and pushed away by the colors and linework. Keeping a sense of security but also being open to the idea of vulnerability. Art is contradictory in nature and I want to be inspired by those opposing aspects within my own work.

S: What is your process when you create your artwork? Are you consistent with one approach or various?

C: Part of my process is searching for the extremely mundane and ordinary, to the surreal and abstract. For instance, what many might see as light simply falling on a leaf I see as poetic resonation. That is, the systemic ways in which nature applies itself to the artistic senses through its seemingly ordinary process. But I’m also inspired by the irregular, the absurd, the absolute unpredictable circumstances in which we all revolve. The other part is watching films, reading comics, and other forms of literature, as well as listening to music. From the visceral films of Andrei Tarkovsky, to the labyrinthian poetry of Alejandra Pizarnik, to the ecstatic free jazz of Pharoah Sanders. To create artwork I need versatility.

S: What tools do you utilize to make your pieces?

C: The tools of the trade are pencil, eraser, pen, ruler, color pencils, markers, and paper.

S: What is the art scene like in the Central Valley? What makes you different from other artists?

C: The art scene in the Central Valley seems to be in its nascent stage. There are percolating groups of people and individuals teeming for the opportunity to contribute their ideas and works to the art scene, but with the lack of opportunities and communal spaces in which to showcase, it’s been a struggle. We need more investment in the arts, more infrastructure, more voices and people of color to break down these barriers and storm the scene. I think I differ from other artists in the area because I try to stick to a distinct style, or characteristics, in which the viewer will recognize authenticity.

Interview by Stephanie Barraza