Eyes On Walls: Underground Art Finds Mainstream Homes

Eyes On Walls: Underground Art Finds Mainstream Homes

Art can play a great part in defining a generation, and nobody distributes a more on-point definition of the today’s youth than Eyes On Walls.  This edgy and modern art distribution company was only officially founded last year, but is rooted in over twenty years in the poster distributing business, and has made a name for itself by bringing a unique product to a unique consumer base.

The company seeks out artists the create original, modern and striking urban art that inspires our generation, prints their artwork at their headquarters in Montreal, and ships it out all over the word at prices surprisingly low for the art world, bringing affordable beauty to a whole new generation of art buyers.  Eyes On Walls is home to ten inspiring artists whose work ranges from oil painting to design to digital art, including notable artists such as Camilla d’Ericco, Charmaine Olivia, and HR-FM, and has hundreds of pieces available for as low as ten dollars per print.  We talked with the founder of Eyes On Walls, Tom Rowlandson, as well as a couple of incredible artists featured by the company, Alex Cherry and Lora Zombie, to find out some more information on this intriguing new collective.

Tom Rowlandson

Founder of Eyes On Walls.

AGM: What were your goals when you originally founded the company?

I started my career in the art business working for a mainstream poster publisher of artists like Andy Warhol and licensing properties like Disney. Eyes On Walls was founded to publish and promote a new generation of artists and make their work available, affordable and accessible to a new generation of art fans.

How do you choose artists to publish through Eyes On Walls?

Our target audience are true appreciators of art, they’re not looking to fill a space with something that matches their sofa. They’re also generally younger than the typical art buying audience, and are looking for something different and interesting. So we select artists to publish with that in mind. We receive submissions through our site and also actively seek out and solicit the right kind of artists to add to the line, usually adding only one or two artists at a time.

What are you doing differently than other companies out there providing similar services?

Most companies in our space are concentrated on building a massive digital catalogue of artwork for sale. Our approach is different in that we focus on a small number of artists and invest heavily in promoting them.

How do you think art fits into modern popular culture?

I think art is more popular now that it has ever been. I’d attribute that to how accessible the Internet has made artists, and the recent worldwide surge in popularity of street art. It’s everywhere you look really.

Do you have any plans to expand the company?

Yes – we are growing steadily and our next move in terms of expanding the operations of the company is to establish a creative, sales and product development office in Toronto separate from our manufacturing and fulfillment in Montreal

Alex Cherry

A Los Angeles-based digital artist heavily involved in Eyes On Walls, with dozens of striking, distinct, urban-style pieces available on the website. http://www.eyesonwalls.com/collections/alex-cherry

Do you have any early encounters with art that stick out in your memory?

Marvel Comics by Jim Lee, Star Wars conceptual work by John Berkey and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was at one time obsessed with all of those and they’ve had a big impact on my work as an artist/designer. Especially Ninja Turtles.

Where does your artistic inspiration come from?

90% of my inspiration is from music, the other 10% comes from the rest of my life.

How does music influence your art?

Alex Cherry - "Trash 2"Music is the boilerplate for my art. I start with a concept defined in a song and work off of that by any means necessary for me to “complete” my vision. Music is my storyboard.

What does your artwork mean to you personally?

It means a lot. It is an extension of myself, like a separate person I’m sharing my life with. My work goes out with other people, it has relationships with them, and sometimes it introduces me to them. I’m very lucky to have such a partner. My work makes friends with people, and sometimes introduces me to them.

What do you want viewers to take away from your artwork?

Anything people take away from it is enough. Though angry at times, my work has no enemies or prejudice. And like all people, I think it just wants to be loved.

Lora Zombie - "Rain Dogs"Lora Zombie

A young artist from Russia, with a diverse, self-taught, unique style.  She has built a significant presence online, and is now branching into the gallery world. http://www.eyesonwalls.com/collections/lora-zombie

Tell us about your background on art. How did you get started?

I started from early-early childhood. I used to draw Looney Tunes cartoon characters all day long when i was a very little girl. When I grew up a little I started my self-education with books about how to draw, paint, etc…

At what age did you get involved with urban art? When did you first realize that art was going to be a major part of your life?

When I was around 15-16 years old I was drawing a lot of GORILLAZ fan art, and at the same time I had some access to internet, which helped me to see what was happening around art and music then. It was such an inspiring background for me so I had a lot of enthusiasm to be a part of this movement.

What is your inspiration?

Currently I am most inspired by music.

Who is/are your favorite artist/s?

Banksy. Ian Francis. Ashley Wood. Jamie Hewlett. Tex Avery.

Lora Zombie - "Tom Waits"

For more art from independent and underground artists, check out http://www.eyesonwalls.com.

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