Erik Mark Sandberg Interview

Erik Mark Sandberg is a Pasadena based artist who persistently evolves while communicating his richly layered narrative style. Erik’s latest body of work, “Get Pretty Now” features automotive paints and finishes, multiple printing techniques and painting applications that shroud metaphors of beauty, acceptance and the world over ethos of Hollywood.

Erik was featured in “Survey Select” this past summer and showcased his first ever sculpture that attracted much attention. Erik is a tenacious worker who shares his time between making art and teaching art at Otis College and Art Center Pasadena. Thankfully, Erik took the time to share an introduction about his latest exhibition taking place at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York:

Mm. what was the overall context behind your Get Pretty Now series of new works?

ES : The new body of work was conceived for a solo exhibition to be held at the Jonathan LeVine gallery Jan 22- Feb 19th 2011. The work in “Get Pretty Now” focuses on the relationships between a projected idealized archetype and the unattainable emulation of the archetype.

Mm : I loved the girl with star patterned sweater : was that a combination of different tecnhiques ?

ES : Material use in the construction of the paintings is important to me; it’s in integral part of the language. Each material has a very distinct voice. Getting all the material components to communicate the way I intend while combined is at times what drives the work. Girl With Star Patterned Sweater is acrylic, oil, air brush, screen print, and enamel on panel. I’m constantly trying to balance the use values of each in the work and perfect the construction craft. The environment I live in is filled with such a diverse gamut of materials, it just seems natural to work the paintings with a variety of materials.

Mm : I know you love furry girls—is their a context behind their warm and fuzzy beauty?

The hair in a broad sense is a metaphor for effects of certain aspects contemporary living, idol worship created by manipulated advertising visuals, emulation of celebrities characters….It’s like the obese girl who was a simultaneous victim of fast food marketing and sexualized teen fashion, I’m interested in how do I show that embedded psychological aftermath. This show also comments on victories claimed in the narratives of some contemporary hip hop music. These narratives are continually played and paradoxically supported by family product advertisements on mainstream radio. The effects of these dichotomies are what the work starts to reference in this show.

Mm : What’s next for you?

Busy year scheduled…Sculptural group show at the Biological Museum in Stockholm, Sweden… solo show opening at Gallerie Johanssen in Berlin, June 3rd…followed by a 7-week residency and solo exhibition at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia opening Aug 18th 2011.

Sweet thanks Erik Mark Sandberg and keep up the great works. Looking forward to your next show.

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