28 Mar 2013

Horology by Eric Freitas

1. The study and measurement of time.
2. The art of making clocks and watches.
            -Oxford Dictionary 

Eric Freitas

 I can't think of many arts that are so intertwined with their subject nor can I think of an artist who's work is the sole need as an example of discipline than Mr Eric Freitas and his clock making. Freitas was born in Chelsea, Michigan, studied his BFA at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and currently lives and works in Royal Oak Michigan.

Mechanical No. 5

The first work of Mr Feitas's I came across was Mechanical No. 5. This was maybe sometime in 2009, it was a staring feature in an article concerning the seemingly death defying sub-culture-(fashion) of steampunk. I'm not sure I see steampunk, I feel that is unjust. I've mentioned my acceptance of convenient terms of reference in my occasional online rants and I will try not to contradict myself here. The punks of steam are a very creative bunch but I believe are often, somewhat tarnished by low quality crafters drifting scene to scene and the odd commercial encroachment, so please, do know I see their battle and would happily give them a boost but I do not see coal, steam or any continuation of the steam age timeline. I do see brass and gears but like when I see a horse, I do not see a Tesco burger, a brass gear makes a steampunk not.

I see design. I see theory's tested. I see a young Leonardo up late with candle and secret commission. I see cryptic structure and clue, not for the sake of but for necessity, protection and uncertainty. There is no doubt, a hint of the Prince Dakkar but it seems to me, this is our reference, not that of Freitas. His work is pure and consistently his own but maybe channelled. His devices are unique in that the art of clock making is stretched, force to overlap aesthetics and myth. The purity of measurement is treated, decay morphs into creation. We are left wondering with only the knowledge of our position in the day or night to ease the incomprehensible. Eric Freitas presents an inspiration, an invitation. To what world we can only surmise. And we are better for the wonder.