About Eddie



What some buyers of my art have to say.

Spectacular Artist. Eddie’s Art Is More Addicting Than Heroin. A+++ 🙂 – Cooldivide

Let’s face it, Eddie’s twisted -Murranco

I’d rather lose my hair than my Breens – Cooldivide


Eddie Breen is my ‘brush-name’, I am also known as Chris Sammartano. At Breen Studios, tired art is carefully crafted in the Piggyback Art process, revitalized with new paint and meaning. Art side effects, though rare, may include dizziness, nausea and existential despair! “Whenever I paint something, I have to be a wiseguy, I can’t help myself. I’m the guy in school who would sit in the library and deface photos of fashion models and politicians in magazines. I’d black out their teeth, white out their eyes and scribble in devil horns and beards. I guess I’m still doing it.”

I’ve sold paintings to collectors all over the United States and Europe. Articles about my art have appeared in major US newspapers and magazines as well as internationally in Vogue Italia, The Guardian and Lufthansa in-flight magazine(weird!). My art is collected by a Texas rancher, government workers, teachers, more than a few lawyers, a McMurdo station worker(Antarctic), movie producer, ad agency guys, housewives, artists and lots of other off-kilter individuals it gratifies me to know are out there. And many of these people haven’t stopped at one, some buying as many as 30 paintings over the years.


1956 – 98 nothing much happens and Breen never gets into the Whitney Biennial

December 2000 – two man show – Musselman Gallery, Provincetown, MA

January or February 2001 – Panelist – RISD – ‘Marketing Your Art On The Internet’

February 2002 – ‘Breenapalooza!’ Artist-in-Residence, Richard F. Brush Art Gallery, St. Lawrence University February

2003 – ‘Lost and Found Show’ Forbidden Gallery, Dallas, TX

July 2003 – ‘Piggyback Art Show'(group show) City Arts, Wichita Kansas

2002 – 2005 – ‘Revelations and Reflections of American Self Taught Artists’ touring group show by Exhibits USA

2010 – Showing at ID: Art.Design in Healdsburg, CA


Some Chat Discussions I’ve harvested about my art:

It’s fascinating the various reactions to this man’s conception of art.
I personally see it not as destroying the original creator’s conception, but reliving it almost. That’s what art is, isn’t it?

The creator has an idea and unfolds it into a living material piece. Then the moment it is put out into the world and other eyes and minds take it in, it grows and changes with the experiences of the viewer’s lived perspective. It becomes not what the original creator envisioned, but a whole new expression of the individuals own ideas. We would all see the works with our own groupings of shared or unique experiences, but also trying to factor in what the original creator had in mind. Even then our idea of the intent may only be imagined if we have no clue what was intended. *L*

As for this being a desecration of the original works or art I see the opposite. Many of his finds would have sat hidden in basements or garages going unseen. If a piece of art isn’t viewed does it really exist? *L*

I’d have to say no personally. Art doesn’t come to life until it has a mind to give it depth and meaning.

The cool thing about Mr. Breen’s works is that we get to see inside his mind at what he would envision for each piece. But as with everything in the world it’s no longer his alone once it’s released into the world. My perspective and yours get the pleasure of translating what we see depicted on the canvas.

My life experience has allowed me a perspective to enjoy these paintings. Several of the social and political commentaries resonate with me and that shared experience of “getting it” makes me feel less alone in the world.Maybe if I get it. And he gets it. And some other people get it the world can change for the better.

But who knows. In years to come time and life will alter the meanings of these works and maybe some new generation will relive them for their time.

Either way I like it. ;^)

You’re Welcome, Ze.


Posted by: KnittyOtter at March 27, 2007 2:56 PM


Art-critic M.D. Dublin says “Eddie Breen was born lucky. He does not have to suffer the foolish tropes of previous generations who have been burying art and digging it back up every season only to find no pulse and to declare it dead again. Painters like Breen have cast the irony out and filled their bronzes with gold. In 20 years, when the last Boomer has keeled over from mutual fund fatigue, Fun will dominate the Land and honest pioneers who made flawed maps rather than tracing the territory, those who saw clearly the brilliance and intrinsic motivation in artists like Darger, Lobanov, Breen, Nek Chand will live like pashas.”


I take incomplete paintings and insert nuns, flying jesuses, flame people, politicians or death elephants and change the meaning of the compositions in ways to suit my visions, to co-opt the elements and create my own worlds.

Born 61 years ago in Natick, MA, Eddie Breen is my brush name, my given name is Chris Sammartano. I didn’t start painting until around the turn of the century. Over the years I’ve worked a variety of jobs, but never picked up a paint brush – except when, as a bike messenger in Boston, I felt the need to fill the inspection certificate holders in elevators with my own artistic expression.

I made a sketch of a bass in pen and ink, photo-copied hundreds of them, then painted them in a variety of ways – ‘burning bass of moses’, ‘bass attack’, ‘bassass backwards’ and placed them in the inspection certificate holders of the elevators I encountered while delivering packages around the city. I found they disappeared quite rapidly as they were collected by tenants of the buildings or simply thrown away by the building maintenance people, and he became known among the other messengers as the ‘Bassman.’

Although married to an art school graduate, and despite the brief episode described above, I generally refrained from expressing myself artistically, being rather intimidated by talented individuals around him. Whenever I did have an idea for a subject that would make a good painting, I scared himself and kept my mouth shut. Years passed, until around the end of the 20th Century, I stumbled across a horrible painting of a church at a flea market. Gazing upon the church I had a vision of lions eating Christians while Jesus wept. I scooped up the painting for a dollar, picked up some acrylics and a couple of cheap brushes. About an hour later ‘Piggyback Art’ was born.

I would probably merely be a local eccentric if not for the Internet. I decided to post my paintings in an on-line gallery, and, just for the hell of it, posted a few paintings on Ebay with links back to his gallery. I thought this would be a good way to funnel people to my art. I never dreamed anyone would buy anything. However, virtually every painting I posted was snapped up.

Whenever I paint something, I have to be a wise-ass, I can’t help myself. I’m the guy in school who would sit in the library and deface photos of fashion models and politicians in magazines. I’d black out their teeth, white out their eyes and scribble in devil horns and beards. I guess I’m still doing it.

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1 Comment

  1. You are so damn funny and talented.


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