Meet The Man Behind the Murals
Meet artist Chris Zidek (aka Zidekahedron), the talented Nashville muralist behind the artwork within the Writers’ Studios and Analog at Hutton Hotel. We recently caught with the wunderkind on where he finds inspiration for his geometric murals alongside his favorite Nashville spots.
How long have you been an artist? Are you self-taught?
CZ: I’ve been into art since I was a kid. I was a big Marvel comic fan and would usually just draw my own. The more detailed, the better too. Every Thursday, I went with my Dad to the comic book store to see the latest. It’s funny, I never read them; I just looked at the pictures. I went to college for biochemistry (side note: my Dad used to teach physics) and then started working on my own art. I switched my focus to the technology department and started exploring graphic arts and layout. In grad school, I majored in illustration with a concentration in geometrics. I also art directed films for seven years. I love collaborating and problem solving. Just recently, I decided to put all my eggs in one basket and create my art.
Where do you land your inspiration?
CZ: As an undergraduate, I used to be deep into studying crop circles and other aerial views. For my graduate studies, I wrote a 30-page crop circle piece based on sacred geometry and quantum physics and ancient archeology. I love non-fiction; I also studied world religions and iconography, based on the same type of geometry. Now, I chip away at my own style.
How long did the 10 canvas installation take for the Writers Studios and what was your inspiration there?
CZ: I had only four days to pull something together. I decided to focus on four of my moleskin drawing notebooks and weave and collage these pieces together. We printed them and stretched them on canvas.
What about the mural inside Analog?
CZ: This mural was completely original and a long, viscous object that lasted a few months. It’s about analog communication. I took the speakeasy vibes and kept away any idea of digital. You can find a number of the senses: like touch, feel, voice and sound. It’s like the yin and the yang; I worked on honeycomb for taste and created a bee’s nest with honey dropping and then a bottle of poison as the antithesis.
What is your most radical project to date and what would you like to do next?
CZ: Right now, it’s the Analog mural and also a large mural I did for a Nashville parking garage. Although this fall, I’m working on a solo show in Bushwick, Brooklyn on September 6th.
Since this is Music City, what type of music do you listen to when you create?
CZ: I listen to about 20 percent music; like metal, shoegaze and some hiphop. About 80 percent of the time you can catch me listening to podcasts like Vanished; the 20-part series on woman who vanished in Georgia and Meat Eater that focuses on public land conversation. I also listen to Joe Rogan.
What do you love about living and working in Nashville?
CZ: I love our scene, it’s super small. Right now, there’s a tight knit group of us in our late 20s to mid-40s, who focus on contemporary urban and gallery work. And, we’re all pretty good at what we do and we’re starting to get our shine. The mural scene is also getting very popular and I think Nashville is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.
When you’re not working, where do you like to go in town?
CZ: I like to go to Drifters BBQ—they have the best smoked wings in town. I also go to Mickey’s Tavern for a Coors Light tall boy (they also have bologna sandwiches which people love). You can also find me along Harpeth River; I have a canoe and often go with my girlfriend.