The Art of Erin Anderson: A Unique Blend of Figure and Abstraction

Allie Schaitel

February 27, 2015

While the subjects of Erin Anderson‘s work aren’t “bizarre” in themselves, it’s the juxtaposition of her models in a stylized space that is interesting and exceptional. Anderson places single figures rendered with an Old Masters’ style in an arbitrary, dark space. A flowing metallic pattern is added to create an intricate interaction with the figure. These realistic, representational figures are impressive by themselves but the labyrinth of lines add a definite unique eye-pleasing factor. These abstractions add texture and an ethereal glow to Anderson’s creations.

The process of creating these metallic beauties is particular since Anderson paints directly on the copper sheet with oil paint. The shapes and lines need to be built with layering and glazing from vague to detailed. Then painstakingly, Anderson has the nerve-wrecking task of etching the paint away to reveal the brilliant sheet below. While the inclusion of a solitude person and the metal etching is the theme that stays the same throughout this collection, the various line work she employs takes on a life of their own in each piece. There is a variance in intricacy, thickness, proximity and simplicity all carefully curated.

One also gets a feeling of vulnerability and closeness with the models who offer themselves to be painted. The models are rendered as they are and a true sense of the person can be detected, as there is little ornamentation or posing of the subject. Anderson makes it possible for the viewer to feel an emotional connection with the faces and bodies she presents. There is no hiding behind forced posing or expressions – human emotion and essence shine brightly through. It can be insinuated that the interaction between the intricate background and the subjects provide a nod to the enigmatic interconnectedness of environments, individuals, and nature. The artist has also expressed that there is a theme expressing the energy visually and the necessity of balance in all aspects of life.