NAME: Eliot Markell
STUDIO LOCATION: Studio #418, 119 Ingraham Street
TIME IN BROOKLYN: Since 1974.
SHARED STUDIO: Yes
[Editors’ Note: This coming weekend, we’ll be touring Brooklyn for GO Open Studios, an event in which visitors vote on which artist they feel deserves to get an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. As a service to both ourselves and other readers, we’ve scoured the event’s pages for the most promising studios and then sent those artists an email with a few questions about their work. The following posts relay what they told us.]
Eliot Markell makes brazenly colorful stuff out of lobster traps. Refreshingly, there’s no high-falutin’ rhetoric to describe his work, which makes his work all the more accessible. He’s perfect for GO.
Where are you from?
Born Boston, MA, raised in Weston, MA.
What’s your background?
Painting and sculpture. Mentored with Gandy Brodie in Newfane, VT in the early 1970’s.
Are you showing your work in galleries?
I’ve exhibited my plein air works on paper for over 20 years every summer at Wingspread Gallery in Northeast Harbor, Maine. The gallery burned down in 2008. I am currently co-organizing the group exhibition “Thick and Thin, 3D and 2D work by 12 Artists” at Brooklyn Fire Proof’s “Temporary Storage” gallery space in conjunction with GO Brooklyn.
Why are you participating in GO?
Bushwick Open Studios brought over 300 people into my studio. GO offers another, perhaps even more focused opportunity to gain some visibility for my art.
When did you decide to become an artist?
My commitment to making art really solidified when I moved from Vermont to NYC in 1974. Desire and confidence were key to my youthful enthusiasm; know how and maturity came more slowly, alongside my ability to create more substantial and successful visual art. My career premise is that patience, persistence and a prolific body of work will pay off in the long run.
Do you have a day job?
I’ve run my own fine art trucking business serving artists, galleries, and collectors since 1984. This business has had its ups and downs, but over the long haul has allowed me to devote enough time and energy for art making to earn my credentials as a professional artist.
On a scale of one to ten, how much fun do you have thinking about how bright to make your sculptures?
Imbuing my sculpture and painting with vivid color brings a fundamental joy to my eye. Although I like to bring a nuanced chromatic balance to my palette, a bright splash of pigment or the unexpected spectrum of beach rope’s weathered chroma sustains a playful mood and visual delight which is integral to my sculptural process.