A native of New Jersey, Erich Padilla has always had an artistic bent in his life. As a
child, Padilla showed early promise as a sketch artist and he went on to study art, but
he was also a promising athlete and he chose to pursue a career in sports, spending
two years as a professional soccer player in Arizona until a knee injury forced him to
retire. Soccer’s loss was art’s gain as he turned back to his passion and started out in his
prodigious career in the art world.
Padilla’s art cannot be pigeon-holed into familiar categories. It’s graphic in style,
bold, interpretive, humanistic, and colorful in substance; yet subtle, definitive, soulful,
impressionistic, cubist and neo-realist. The medium can be canvass, denim, wood
or even plain paper. He also sculpts with clay, papier-mâché, marble, and glass. The
medium chosen is itself lent to Padilla’s illustration of the subject’s inner meaning. Like
a photographer capturing a moment in time, he often utilizes the surroundings of his
subjects in order to truly capture the scene. Through the use of sand, leaves, dirt, cement,
or glass Padilla adds texture and substance to his works as a way to bring them to life and
invoke an almost sensorial feel to the art itself.
Music and its creators are a central theme in Padilla’s art. Their inner souls are translated
to tangible reality and illustrate the true image of legendary performers for all of us to
examine. Not satisfied solely with his interpretation, Padilla feels an artistic need to
share his interpretation with the subject. The autographing of many of these paintings –
Willie Dixon, Etta James, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Junior Wells, Albert King and Hubert
Sumlin, to name but a few - brings artistic oeuvre sincere validity as the subject has been
exposed to the interpretation, and accepts it.
Padilla’s efforts earned him the Special Recognition Award from the International Latin
Music Hall of Fame and his paintings have been shown alongside those of Andy Warhol,
Keith Haring, Peter Max, Ronnie Wood, and John Lennon. His works can be seen in print
and on TV, including appearances on Good Day New York, Geraldo, Joan Rivers, Sex In
The City, Teen People Magazine & The NY Times, as well as Hard Rock Cafes around
the world, the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, the Delta Blues Museum, and the International
Latin Music Hall of Fame.