Gertrude Stein Questionnaire: Erin Fitzpatrick

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Photos from Anthony Caro at Grimaldis Gallery

Photo circa 1988, by Erin’s parents

Bio: Erin Fitzpatrick, graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, began her current series of portraits in mid 2008. Originally entitled Baltimore Portrait, this body of work now contains over 130 paintings and drawings of notable artists, musicians, business people, and Fitzpatrick’s peers. She views this project as “people collecting,” as it is as much about meeting and documenting new subjects, as it is about the paintings themselves.

Exhibiting extensively in solo and group shows, she has gained collectors throughout the United States and in Europe. With no foreseeable end to her project, she looks forward to adding many more people to her visual network. She runs the award-winning site .

When Erin is not in her studio she is probably somewhere by a pool, reading so many books, getting a fake tan, listening to something danceable, traveling, watching/listening to/talking about baseball, and/or all of the above. She has solo shows scheduled for November 2012 at Boys Latin, and at Metro Gallery in spring 2013. She tries to keep a lot of things up her sleeves.

Self Portrait, 2012

Name: Erin Fitzpatrick
Age: I’m old enough to know better, but that doesn’t always influence my decision-making. Occupation:  I’m an artist, blogger and freelance writer. I do a lot of commissions of people and pets to pay the bills.
Baltimore Neighborhood: Charles Village

Obsessive Collections: I have a problem with Gatorade. My car is therefore filled with like 20 empty Gatorade bottles… although that might just be a problem with cleaning. I’m really into printed pants and am currently expanding my collection, the wilder the better. I also have stacks and stacks of art and fashion magazines that I hardly ever get around to reading. One day…

Currently Reading: Right now I’m reading American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. Somehow I’d never gotten around to it before. I usually aim to read at least 25 books/year. Some of my faves of 2012 so far have been Veronika Decide To Die by Paulo Coelho, Walking Through Clear Water In A Pool Painted Black by Cookie Mueller, and A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.

Coolest Place You’ve Ever Lived or Travelled To: I do a decent amount of traveling. I love Mexico/anything tropical in the winter, New Orleans in general, and NYC/BK whenever I can make it up there. I had an amazing time in Vermont last fall while on an artist residency, but in real life, outside of art camp, I know I’d miss being in a city. Barcelona was rad as well. I was there during Festes de la Mercè. Giant, story-high puppets paraded through the streets and kids dressed as devils set things on fire and shot fireworks everywhere. It was pretty wild.

Hobbies or Leisure Activities: My whole life feels pretty leisurely because I’m usually doing something I like work-wise. I’m really social. I’m into meeting people and looking for something about them that grabs me. I have a lot fun with my friends. Oh, and there’s baseball. Pretty much April through mid-October, I’m watching/listening to/talking about baseball. It’s my jam.

Favorite Food to Eat at Home: At home I usually make a giant salad with greens (kale, spinach, etc), two eggs, three pieces of turkey bacon, a quarter of an avocado, blue cheese, and some random vegetables. I kind of eat this every day.

Favorite Food to Eat Out: I hardly ever eat out, but in Baltimore I usually prefer something sushi related. Matsuri in Federal Hill is great. One of my favorite restaurants in general is Balthazar on Spring Street in New York. It’s gorgeous and crowded and the food is delicious. If it’s spring/summer I’ll be drinking a Sancere Rose, starting with a pate, and eating tuna nicoise salad seared rare. If it’s fall/winter I go for their decadent onion soup gratinee and maybe the steak tartare (one time I also got the foie gras and made myself feel like I was going to die. I was sure it was going to happen), with a bottle of Les Gryphees Moselle Blanc, or a Chinon if I’m feeling red.

Favorite Beverage of Choice: I have an obsession with Gatorade (which has replaced my obsession with Crystal Light and Diet Dr. Pepper). My favorite is the G2 (the low cal variety) in whatever flavor is light purple, or pretty much any G2 that isn’t a weird color of green. I drink Gatorade and coffee all day and then I switch to wine, vodka sodas (if I’m going out), or Corona Light when the sun goes down. I’m really healthy.

Political Leanings: I voted for Obama. I vote for people who don’t scare me.

Favorite Baltimore spot to hang out: My favorite place in Baltimore is Camden Yards. Opening Day is the best day of the year. I go to a dozen-plus games each year, and I always get a little sad when the season is over. For general hanging out, Club Charles is still my stand-by. Other bars have made me waver over the years, but this is still a solid spot to stop in for a drink and know I will run into people I want to hug.

Pets: I have two cats, Gunther (AKA My Tiniest Friend), and Diesel (AKA Fat Brown). Can you tell which one is my favorite? Gunther is half Siamese and a talker. He will only drink milk or water out of a shot glass, comes when I call him, and is obsessed with Doritos. About 11-12 years ago, Diesel walked into the Rendezvous on 25th Street, hopped on my lap, and has been a trouble maker at my house ever since.

Favorite Artist, Living or Dead: Fairfield Porter, Alex Katz, Hopper…I like the mid-century realists. I also just like to look at people who really know how to use paint like Jenny Saville and Chantal Joffe. I’ve also been super into the paintings that Ryan Schneider has been doing lately.

Movie that Sums Up the Current State of Your Life: There are so many jokes I could make on myself here. I’m just going to go with Friday.

Favorite Bad Habit: I love bad habits. It’s hard to choose. I stay up way too late. I’m a bad sleeper anyway, so I may as well be awake doing stuff.

Mantra or Favorite Quote: I’m a big fan of having perspective, and a big foe of people who constantly hate on things. People get uptight over things that don’t really matter, like disagreeing with someone else’s taste in things. It’s such a waste of energy. Being a hater is boring, and aside from being a bad person, the worst quality one can have is to be is dull.

“If you can prove you’re right you’re set in concrete. You cannot move with the times or with other people. Being right is also boring. Your mind is closed you are not open to new ideas….So: it’s wrong to be right, because people who are right are rooted in the past, rigid-minded, dull and smug.” -Paul Arden

“Lane” 2011. Oil on Birch Panel. 12″x16″
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