The origins and motivation for this work date back to an ebullient childhood. Among other influences, comic books made a dynamic impact: imagination, vocabulary, anatomy, perseverance, self-control and self-sacrifice. All of this wrapped up in “child’s pablum”.
Dreams of flight. In dream analysis, flying may represent one of several possibilities, including control or transcendence issues. While possessed of the ability of soaring in dreams, waking we are locked to the terrain by laws of physics and chains of consternation. Longing to alight yet hopelessly earthbound, Daedalus and Icarus soared in Greek myth. Reveling in his newly acquired ability, the foolish son dared to commune with the sun itself. Transcending tongues, cultures and geographic boundaries is an intrinsic primeval rapacity to rise above the pedestrian; the mundane.
Our Western culture has its mythologies also. What is the motivation that drives us to seek to imbue ourselves with supra-human abilities and experiences? Is this mere childish fancy? Who does not dream of being more than they are? The intolerable monotony, fragility and impotence of humanity drives one, if only in one’s mind, to rupture the boundaries of everyday experience and limitations to soar with Icarus or Clark Kent.
Myths are the evolutionary ancestors of contemporary comic books. Gods, demigods and mortals versus Nature, Technology, Man, Himself… predecessors to Superman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, The Batman, The X-Men, The Hulk, Captain Marvel, Green Lantern and scores of others. In reality, we are weak; utterly impotent in regards to our own destinies, let alone that of the world. We must reticently bow before God (or Fate). Comic book characters- superheroes in particular- bound to our psychological rescue, providing an avenue of empowerment; of omnipotence. Through such, we can realize suppressed and unfulfilled dreams. These Talismans, as I refer to them, are visceral manifestations of those wishes. Perhaps there is a root of Messianic Complex inherent in superhero aspirations, or perhaps it is merely, like euphoric dreams of flight, a means of escape or surmounting of the forces outside of our control.
This phase of my work, which I began over a decade ago, investigates self- perceptions in a more primal encounter with the materials. Drawing upon such references as the Venus of Willendorf, African fertility figures, Nkisi, American Indian totems and kachina dolls (tihu), I am forging a link between corporeal constraints and the limitless reaches of human imagination and aspiration. The hybridization of contemporary Pop Culture iconography (the ubiquitous superhero) and Antediluvian fecundity motifs reinforces an elemental thread woven throughout the annals of human history.
The base material and technique of these pieces are a reflection of the fundamental archetype found in mythology itself. Faceless, they are Everyman. The female Talismans emanate strength and vulnerability; simultaneously embodying the Cradle of Life and the unabashed tenacity and conviction of a warrior. One may also point to implicit Priapan allusions in the male Talisman morphology in reference to his role as Defender in a rudimentary correlation to superhero vigilantism. Though the works are diminutive, they embody aspects of gods/ spirits as did the kachinas, as well as the vicarious status and shamanic powers analogous to the totems.
Up, up and away.
Of himself, Eric says:
I am your archetypal American boy, growing up on Pop-Tarts, G.I. Joes, and comic books.
My early aspirations were torn between orthopedic surgeon, fighter pilot and artist.
I love excessive speeds (especially on motorcycles), ocean kayaking, sci-fi, screenplay writing, and Thai food.
I still read comic books and enjoy an occasional Chocolate Fudge Pop-Tart with a cold glass of milk.
See more of his work here.