Artist Interview: Henry Schreiber

by Kim Larson August 25, 2015

We are thrilled to welcome the return of Henry Schreiber to the gallery with this month's Project Wall feature, Here, Hold This. We sat down a few weeks ago to ask our favorite marmot master a few questions and about his inspiration for the show and dig a little deeper into his artistic process:

ME: What was your inspiration for "Here, Hold This" and how did you select your subject matter?

HS: When I was first invited to this show, I thought maybe I could try something new. I wanted to get away from the narrative that has driven most of my previous shows and really just focus on randomness as a unifying theme. Simply marmots holding stuff. This allowed me to have a lot more fun - not having the pressure of making everything fit seamlessly.

ME: Do you have a favorite piece in the show, or one that was particularly challenging to work on, and why?

HS: My favorite piece is probably “Magic Lamp.” I really liked the movie Aladdin as a kid and I thought it would be hilarious to see how a marmot would react to a surprise wish-granting genie. “Do you Trust me?”

The most difficult piece was definitely “My Crab.” Even though a marmot holding a crab was my first idea for the show, it ended up being the very last one that I finished. I don’t know how to paint crabs!

ME: What would people be surprised to learn about you?

HS: I have no idea, I try to be an open book. If people ask me a question, I try my hardest to answer them honestly and directly.


ME: What is your art process? Take us on a journey from concept to final artwork.

HS: First, I start with an idea.

Then each piece starts as a cloudy mess and gets refined through each layer… Above is a good example of my process (from my Hollerbound show last year):


ME: Many of your marmots take on a personified appearance. Are you ever inspired by people you know when coming up with your characters?

HS: The emotions are more like generalizations. I first started painting marmots because the groundhogs on my family farm reminded me of all the petty and amusing ways people react to one another.

And, sometimes, they are a direct representation of my own experiences.


ME: What is your favorite:

HS: Color: Umber - I mix it into just about every other color that I use.

Animal: A Godzilla-sized groundhog

Season: Fall. It’s the most comfortable of all seasons.

Movie: Macgruber. Will Forte is one of my very favorite comedians and actors out there… If there were ever a movie or short that had my marmots in it, I imagine they would sound like WIll Forte.

Book:  I don’t have a favorite. Like movies, this changes so very often, but sadly, I don’t read nearly as many books as I watch movies.

Painting: It’s a series of paintings: The Voyage of Life by Thomas Cole. I saw the 4-panel series at the National Gallery in Washington, DC and was blown away.

Here, Hold This runs through September 5, 2015 at Modern Eden.
You can view the exhibition online HERE.
Kim Larson
Kim Larson

Kim Larson is the Gallery Director and Co-Owner at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco's historic North Beach neighborhood. Opened in June 2010, the gallery features monthly exhibitions of established and emerging artists. The gallery's contemporary aesthetic ranges from realism to surrealism with a strong focus on illustrative painting and representational sculpture. She is a pround member of the San Francisco Art Dealers Association and the current Director of North Beach First Fridays. Her passion for art started at a young age and continues today with her private art collection.

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