Some Chat Discussions I've harvested about my art:
It's fascinating the various reactions to this man's
conception of art.
Art-critic M.D. Dublin says "Eddie Breen was born lucky. He does not have to suffer the foolish tropes of previous generations who have been burying art and digging it back up every season only to find no pulse and to declare it dead again. Painters like Breen have cast the irony out and filled their bronzes with gold. In 20 years, when the last Boomer has keeled over from mutual fund fatigue, Fun will dominate the Land and honest pioneers who made flawed maps rather than tracing the territory, those who saw clearly the brilliance and intrinsic motivation in artists like Darger, Lobanov, Breen, Nek Chand will live like pashas."----------------------
Art can neither be good or bad, only interesting or boring. I'm perhaps the leading practitioner of piggyback art in the world. I take incomplete paintings and insert nuns, flying jesuses, flame people, politicians or death elephants and change the meaning of the compositions in ways to suit my visions, to co-opt the elements and create my own worlds.
Born 51 years ago in Natick, MA, Eddie Breen is my brush name, my given name is Chris Sammartano. I didn't start painting until relatively recently. " Over the years I've worked a variety of jobs, but never picked up a paint brush - except when, as a bike messenger in Boston, I felt the need to fill the inspection certificate holders in elevators with my own artistic expression."
I made a sketch of a bass in pen and ink, photo-copied hundreds of them, then painted them in a variety of ways - 'burning bass of moses', 'bass attack', 'bassass backwards' and placed them in the inspection certificate holders of the elevators I encountered while delivering packages around the city. I found they disappeared quite rapidly as they were collected by tenants of the buildings or simply thrown away by the building maintenance people, and he became known among the other messengers as the 'Bassman.'
Although married to an art school graduate, and despite the brief episode described above, I generally refrained from expressing myself artistically, being rather intimidated by talented individuals around him. Whenever I did have an idea for a subject that would make a good painting, I scared himself and kept my mouth shut. Years passed, until around the end of the 20th Century, I stumbled across a horrible painting of a church at a flea market. Gazing upon the church I had a vision of lions eating Christians while Jesus wept. I scooped up the painting for a dollar, picked up some acrylics and a couple of cheap brushes. About an hour later 'Piggyback Art' was born.
I would probably merely be a local eccentric if not for the Internet. I decided to post my paintings in an on-line gallery, and, just for the hell of it, posted a few paintings on Ebay with links back to his gallery. I thought this would be a good way to funnel people to my art. I never dreamed anyone would buy anything. However, virtually every painting I posted was snapped up.
"Whenever I paint something, I have to be a wise-ass, I can't help myself. I'm the guy in school who would sit in the library and deface photos of fashion models and politicians in magazines. I'd black out their teeth, white out their eyes and scribble in devil horns and beards. I guess I'm still doing it."
1956 - 98 nothing much happens and Breen never gets into the Whitney Biennial
December 2000 - two man show - Musselman Gallery, Provincetown, MA
January or February 2001 - Panelist - RISD - 'Marketing Your Art On The Internet'
February 2002 - 'Breenapalooza!' Artist-in-Residence, Richard F. Brush Art Gallery, St. Lawrence University February
2003 - 'Lost and Found Show' Forbidden Gallery, Dallas, TX
July 2003 - 'Piggyback Art Show'(group show) City Arts, Wichita Kansas
2002 - 2005 - 'Revelations and Reflections of American Self Taught Artists' touring group show by Exhibits USA