Erik Mark Sandberg
Gallery Affiliations: Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Galerie Johannsen, Mauger Modern
Region: Pacific Coast
My work usually starts with things that stick out to me from observations of daily life, be it a story in the news or some dysfunctional family I see walking through Kmart. I focus a lot on examining the underbelly of “glamour” and the by-products of materialism, idolatry, promiscuous behavior, genetic modification, and pharmaceutical addictions. It’s about some of the more perverse scenarios that occur when living in an entertainment-fertilized culture and the constant rotting of fruit in the sun. There is a constant push/pull, with layers upon layers of beauty and absurdity trying to find the balance with each other. It’s process driven, which is a huge part of my natural working vernacular. The hairy figurative paintings comment on the synthesized effects contemporary culture has on an individual. In most of the paintings the specimens are children, something easily exploited and taken advantage of. Hair is a metaphor for these effects, and also parallels alarmist news reports claiming traces of prescription drugs found in tap water, contemporary teen fashion, Flaming Hot Cheetos, rap music, etc.