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Academic Excellence: Alec Egan

What's Next?
I had a show in Amsterdam, which was a really amazing experience, and have several shows coming up in L.A.

 

Hometown?
Los Angeles
 

Why Otis?

Otis was always on my mind because Phillip Guston, my favorite painter, attended Otis. I had been out on the road and
alone for a long time, all over the country, thinking that something was going to happen with my painting career. After a few pitfalls, I decided I didn’t know as much as I thought I did, and decided to go to grad school. I saw being back in L.A. and going to Otis as having a grounding effect on me, allowing me to produce work in a place with some modicum of familiarity and, therefore, safety (which I needed).
 

Your thesis project?
It was more or less about “the personal”; my inability to create a fantasy to deal with my fear of the “unknown.” In many ways, it was a kind of existential quest about a fantasy that falls apart.
Interesting things you did outside of school?
I tried a food challenge in Burlington, Vermont three times one year, and ate five pounds of barbecue in an hour. I failed all three times.
 

Most influential class?
Critique was both the most influential and traumatizing.
 

Favorite place in L.A.?
My bedroom
 

Impact on your work/life?
Otis changed my work and my life a lot. It was the most intense experience I’ve ever had. In the best way, it showed me how to go forward with my work rather than being simply happy to do it.
 

Something unusual/idiosyncratic?
I don’t like transitions but I am addicted to them.
 

Information/tips to share with future students?
Keep your head down. Just because you’re an inmate doesn’t mean you have to act like one. Don’t trust the guards, and make as much work in.

Check out a video on Alec's work...