Eric Haze is one of the most decorated artists around having produced work for the likes of The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and even producin his very own pair of sneakers with Nke which are one of the finest collecatbles around. Rather than give Haze a number of questions to answer I was able to talk to the famed artist.
Eric Haze is a self confessed "populist" and always finds it rewarding producing work that is appreciated and available for those who enjoy his work. Therefore when approached by Hawaii Mike to do this project Haze had to be producing work with that philosophy in mind and in addition he was not interested in working on "another smoke and mirrors" or "hit the market" project. Having relocated back to New York where his roots are Haze was attracted to the Mountain Dew Green Label Project with a new campus in mind, having worked on many mediums of art and design including sneakers, clothing, paintings and many, many more this was seen by Haze as a genuine "challange". Haze approached his work for the bottle with the bigger picture the centre of his focus and wanting to learn from the challange to bring out his best work to make "the best MD bottle".
This project was made more fascinating with Haze being involved in almost every aspect of the product from the more obvious, design of the artwork to feature on the much talked about bottle down to the finer details of the installment which was a huge success. "Pulling the lens back" to showcase his work in the best possible fashion after having spent many years in Los Angeles Haze did not want to "focus on past work" which had put him on the map and yet evolve his work which became so signature of the artist while establishing himself in New York. Haze realy thrived of the opportunity and took responsibility with a positive attitude of "here and now" which resulted in a design that reflects his style yet is moving in a bright and exciting new direction. Taking this on board Haze approached the work "regardless of corperate" influence and set out produce a piece that "made sense personally and as a designer" with fine art as his motivation.
Being involved in every little aspect of the installation the location had to be the best there was and the space 21st Street (the old Cheetah) in NYC really "jumped out" and grasped Haze’s imagination. With the space having providing such inspiration the idea of "stars and arrows" became the basis for the work really culminating in some spectacular work with the product celebrating the event also in mind. Producing and locating work to fit the location was a task Haze could thrive on with one feature definitely being the piece which ammassed a 10′ x 30′ installation consisting of 24 individual canvases, produced in a grid system to create one larger final piece, based on an 8′ long original charcoal drawing. As Haze took on a more of a "producer" role he set out to work on a product to celebrate the release of the ‘MD Superstar’ and having already produced 2 dimensional work for the bottle Haze set out to work on something less "predictable" wanting to keep away a product people are used to seeing. And with the "stars and arrows" theme in mind Haze approached Gabriel Urist to design a piece worthy to celebrate the nature of event and work.
In addition Haze wanted to reflect on his return to New York and with his involvement being more than "just an artist" he was able to entice some really
which proved an advantage