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May Fine Arts

Oil Paintings Fine Art Furniture Sculpture Lighting Sculptures

May Fine Arts celebrates the Art of Eric May.

Fine Art

Fine Art is often defined as a creative art, especially visual art whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content. I feel the debate about what is and what is not Art, is one of the primary functions of art. Successful fine art makes the audience think or feel or ideally both. When I've been asked at gallery shows what style of art I do, I reply: "Artists make art, art critics make labels." Simply put - If I could express it in words, I'd be a writer and not an artist. ~ Eric May Basically, it all comes down to a paraphrased version of Duchamp, "It's fine art because I say it is."

Oil Painting

My medium of choice for painting is oil paints. I've experimented with acrylics, latex, watercolors, and spray paint, however, nothing compares to what can be done with oil paint. You can spend lifetimes just figuring out all the different looks that can be achieved with the combinations of oil paint, mediums, brushes, and surfaces. The most exciting thing about oil painting is when things go wrong and turn out to be spectacularly right. Case in point, when I was working on Extrapement #2 I wanted to capture the almost gauze nature of the model's shirt. However, I rushed it, and the underlying paint was still too wet. The result was the shirt looking like it was soaking wet and sticking to her skin. I absolutely LOVED it! I've got to give it Bob Ross, "there are no mistakes, just happy accidents." Or if you prefer your art quotes a little more high-brow, "All children are artists, the problem is remaining an artist when he grows up." ~Picasso. The frustration of oil painting is what drives me. You can never achieve what you intend... and that's where the next painting comes from.


I love how Webster's dictionary punts on the definition of sculpture. b(1): work produced by sculpture (2): a three-dimensional work of art (such as a statue) To me sculpture is three-dimensional art. In my own work, I've moved towards blurring the lines between painting and sculpture as frames and/or the entire object that is the painting becomes a sculpture and significant to the meaning of the piece. One of my current favorite pieces of contemporary art is now what's being called Shredded Love by Bansky. It's a painting, no wait its a performance piece, and now it's a sculpture. When I saw "the prank" on the news I gave it a standing ovation in front of my computer. Absolute genius!

Fine Art Furniture

I don't like rules. Never have. Why does art have to be something you only aesthetically apreciate? To me, functional sculpture is interactive art. If the meaning of Art is to evoke an intellectual and/or emotional reaction, then interacting with it is even better. I create pieces that are from furniture styles that never existed. However, now they do. I love the craftsmanship and beauty of antique furniture, however, antiques were created for the needs of a bygone era. What I Needed was an antique, 56sqft, ergonomic, ornate, walnut, computer desk with 45 drawers and antique brass. So I built it and called it the Walnut Monster. It took 2 months to create and during those hundreds of hours both the story about it being Tesla's desk and the idea that furniture is really sculpture and art came into being. With furniture, form follows function. With art form conveys meaning. I love the concept of furniture being sculpture and that it will only improve over time with use, accidents, and age. Like life, Art should be lived and not simply observed.

Art Lighting

After the Walnut Monster, my next piece was a desk lamp. I was looking for something very Steampunk but had a deeper meaning than simply being Steampunk for the sake of being Steampunk. As I was sketching, I was thinking about what lamp Mary Shelly was using while writing Frankenstein and what kind of lamp would have inspired the mad scientist's laboratory. The result was Mary Shelly's Writing Lamp. It's a piece that perfectly fits with my concept of Fine Art furniture and amazes everyone who sees it. Why should lighting only be something you use to look at other things when it can be a sculpture in its own right?