Eric Beck

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

After growing up in New Jersey, Eric washed ashore in Provincetown.  His visits soon developed into a yearning to escape Philadelphia and an unfulfilling profession as a research chemist. The escape came in 1972, much to the chagrin of his parents, believing he was throwing away his college education.  After a year as a carpenter, the opportunity to become a teacher in Provincetown presented itself.  His entire career was spent teaching middle and high school sciences. In 2006 after 33 years, Eric retired from the  Provincetown School System and soon after began exploring a new passion.

         Eric’s lifelong relationship with the ocean has helped shape his life. Being an avid sailor and fishermen as well as working summers at the local boatyard has helped form a unique appreciation for the sea. As a skilled craftsman and carpenter, it's only natural that his creative outlets began to assemble unusual pieces of furniture and art. Eric has never had any formal training as an artist which allows his creative interests to dictate the direction of his work.

         Most recently, his art has manifested itself as whimsical fish sculptures created by using old tools, rusted or corroded metal, as well as broken rudders and nautical items.  These fish reflect Eric’s eye for symmetry and proportionality with new pieces carefully added after being selected from a collection of rusty castoffs.  Each assemblage is deliberately left in a raw unpolished state with sharp points and edges clearly exposed.. Each fish is unique in its size, shape, and composition, as well as the stories behind some of their parts. 

         Some of Eric’s fish sculptures have a more polished shiny look.  Each piece is constructed mostly with brass, copper, and stainless steel left in its bright shiny non-weathered state.  Each sculpture is constructed from parts of old clocks, bugles or other shiny castoffs.

         While on a recent road trip through the west, Eric and his wife collected old yardsticks from flea markets and antique shops.  Upon returning to Provincetown he created a coffee table constructed from those old yardsticks supported with parts from broken, discarded chairs. As a result he fashioned other yardstick furniture each unique in its appearance and construction.

         Eric has built several harvest tables made from reclaimed attic planks or distressed wooden floorboards from a distillery in the Tennessee.  He has also made coffee tables from the teak floor boards of old sailboats and other boat parts. His only dilemma now is where can he find enough old yardsticks, brass clocks, boat parts and reclaimed lumber to continue his creations.