Erik Sommer b. 1978 Duluth, MN. Lives and works in New York
My work is about the effects of time, an exploration between permanence and impermanence. It strives to capture time while showing the beauty of decay.
I am a painter and sculptor. My paintings are very physical and processed. Each piece is worked on from the floor, with the layers of material spread on with a knife or trowel. Painterly marks are avoided in order to make the surfaces appear to have happened naturally. I do not use brushes. I use very little paint. Instead the material is industrial: plasters, pastes, cement. These gritty textures result in an apparent delicacy and fragility, with the final layer often being a removal of material.
My cement installations are sites of everyday activity, portrayed in an unexpected way. Objects are arranged to create scenes (the interior of an apartment, a room being painted, clothes being ironed), then covered in cement. The cement helps make the space seem eerie and quiet. I want the viewer to be filled with a sense of hesitation, while simultaneously finding beauty and calm; to feel as though they are trespassing but cannot look away.
” Art is an honest emotion. It should be challenging, thoughtful, unforeseen, and rewarding. ”
Photographs and and text courtesy of the artist.