Alumnus infuses art with music

By Brandon Fausett, Staff Writer

While listening to rap and hip-hop music, Edward Curry becomes enthralled in the vibrant tunes and begins to paint.

Curry, who graduated from the U last year, doesn’t pay attention to the developing artwork, just how the music feels to him.

He said the color and movements of the people in the drawing all come from the type of music he hears.

The rising artist has spent 26 years developing his talent. As a child, he drew pictures of cartoons and comics and then sold his drawings to other kids for $1. Curry also painted a lot growing up, but considered it a hobby instead of a talent.

The Salt Lake City resident, who now paints in various galleries downtown, graduated from the U in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in art.

“I never thought I had a talent,” Curry said. “It was just me having fun.”

Curry grew up in California, moving around from home to home. The constant movement filtered into his art, exposing him to different areas, colors and people that he incorporates into his designs.

“I grew into it,” Curry said. “It became natural to both me and my art.”

Curry’s father, also named Edward, said his son would sketch things he saw around the house and later moved on to draw pictures of his brothers and sisters.

“He would never put that pencil and paper down,” he said.

His father was a big part of his life and encouraged his art since he was a child. When Curry was in eighth grade, his father approached an art academy in California to recruit his son to the specialized school, where he spent the rest of eighth and ninth grade.

Despite his early art skills, Curry’s decision to study at the U became expensive and he had to seek alternate ways to fund his education. He applied for and received a scholarship, which allowed him to pay for school.

While at the U, he studied the technical aspect associated with art. Art professor John Erickson said Curry also brought a positive presence to the department.

“(Curry) brought a great personality to our department,” Erickson said.

Erickson said by the time Curry had graduated, he had made a huge leap in the language of his painting.

Curry’s paintings relate to all types of people regardless of race, gender and culture, and use symbols to reflect life. He said he paints for a broad audience instead of a certain group.

“I don’t want people to see my art for a black artist’s experience but from a universal artist’s experience,” Curry said.

Music is something Curry tries to incorporate by listening to different styles of music while he paints. He uses different colors based on the type of music.

The music also filters into how he paints characters and the overall movement of his paintings.

“Sometimes I have the character acting to the music like I would react,” Curry said.

Curry said he draws influence from great painters such as Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh and Jean-Michel Basquiat and said he wants his art to be a mix of all these great painters. He said he has yet to see art like his and hopes he is creating his own genre.

Curry works on a number of paintings at a time and has had a few shows in downtown Salt Lake City. He said he is always trying to grow as an artist and is doing what he loves.

“I’m just trying to be an artist,” Curry said.

[email protected]

Erik Daenitz

U alumnus Edward Curry has paintings displayed in a number of downtown galleries. Curry has been working on his art for 26 years and now hopes to create his own genre.