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Eddie Breen

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A little about the artist

Art can neither be good or bad, only interesting or boring, says Eddie Breen, the leading practitioner of piggyback art. He takes paintings that he considers boring or incomplete, and inserts nuns, flying jesuses, flame people, or demons, changing the meaning of the composition in ways to suit his visions, to coopt the elements and create his own worlds.


Born 45 years ago in Natick, MA, Breen 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."


Breen 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 he encountered while delivering packages around the city. He found they dissappeared 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, Eddie generally refrained from expressing himself artistically, being rather intimidated by talented individuals around him. Whenever he did have an idea for a subject that would make a good painting, he scared himself and kept his mouth shut. Years passed, until about a year and a half ago, Eddie stumbled across a horrible painting of a church at a fleamarket. Gazing upon the church he had a vision of lions eating Christians while Jesus wept. He 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.


Eddie would probably be merely a local eccentric if not for the internet. Eddie decided to post his paintings in an online gallery, and, just for the hell of it, posted a few paintings on Ebay with links back to his gallery. He thought this would be a good way to funnel people to his art. He never dreamed anyone would buy anything. However, virtually every painting he 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."


Here are some more of his photos, just the afters since you get the gist now. Here is his web site http://www.eddiebreen.com/













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over the summer i took a printmaking class for a month and the teacher was good friends with this artist. he showed me a lot of these paintings and i was amazed by how similar his work is to mine, as far as reasoning. for those who know me, i am a lover of destroying magazines and books and news papers and so on. thanks for posting these and reminding me of this guys work. its so great.

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