Ducking out of the heavy Greenwich Village snow storm this winter, I entered the warm coziness that can only mean one thing, caffeine. Already toasty in Caffe Regio was 23 year old Erick Urgiles, better known as Erick Hercules. His trimly cut charcoal overcoat sat atop a crisp white shirt punctuated with a forest green tie.
Born in Ecuador, Erick knows his way around coffee. With a body that responds to coffee like most to water, Erick strongly suggested the expresso. Two cappuccinos arrived in short time as Erick described coming to the United States at age eight to pursue music. By twelve he was singing professionally in the likes of Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, and Lincoln Center.
At eighteen Erick and a high school friend started their own clothing brand. He purchased a camera for company shots and has yet to put it down. Like many Instagrammers, Erick began his foray into photography with an Iphone and was quick to stress that “it is all about the creativity, not the latest technology or the best camera.” A common critique of talented photographers is that their art is a product of expensive equipment transforming ordinary images into masterpieces. Yet to this day, nearly half of Erick’s work is shot with his phone while darting around the city and can be identified with the tag #bringtheiphoneback. “I don’t plan to shoot evert, I capture shots moving from point A to point B.”
So, who is Erick Hercules? “I’m just an artist who wants to create something people haven’t seen before. I want to show people what is possible. Growing up, my mom would take me to music shows, pointing out the first chair of the orchestra and telling me, you can do that.” Erick’s belief in the possible lead to a fascination with the surreal, “I want to find loopholes within art and see what can be accomplished.” Well on his way, in addition to #bringtheiphoneback Erick has played a large part in bringing #puddlegrams to the forefront of Instagram. With an innovative style, Erick’s shots also focus on motion. He wants to drive the viewer to step back and ask, “What the fuck?” When a subject is captured with his levitation style, he wants you to wonder, what happened before the jump, and what happened after?
What keeps you up at night? Figuring out how to make my dreams a reality and contemplating new ideas to advance my art. If you’re going to make art, why not take some time to make great art?
If you were the mayor of NYC for one day, what would you change? I would stress more public funding for art. It is scientifically proven that creativity courses help you develop as a person. Some people are meant to be creatives.
Have you seen the Harry Potter movies? Yes What would your patronus be? A wolf, I like to just look from afar and observe, to think before entering a situation.
It’s Friday night and you haven’t eaten a lick, where to? Easy, Bear Burger, eating a Supreme burger. Medium rare, topped with thick cut Canadian bacon, onion rings, and house special sauce.
Where is the last place you’d like to travel? Not hating anyone who lives in remote areas, but I think the last place would be Kentucky, what’s there?
Your levitation shots are enchanting, do you believe in magic? No, but as a magician produces the illusion of magic, so can a photographer create surreal images of reality.
Marry, Fuck, Kill: Zoe Barnes, Claire Underwood, Rachel Posner (Doug Stamper’s old flame).
Fuck Zoe, marry Claire, kill Rachel.
How would you deal with ISIS? Levitate them to hell.