Erik Hanson

“I've always been interested in making records of ethereal experiences. My latest project "2 Years of Bluto" is a record of me learning how to paint and learning how to forgive. The subject matter, Popeye's nemesis, Bluto is often thought of as a "Bad Guy" as was my angry, aggressive, violent and long deceased dad. Turns out Bluto had a lot of good to him just like my dad…So spending 2 years painting this cartoon character “Bluto" over and over turned into a way to meditate on my Dad and Bluto's dual nature as good and bad and learn to forgive, and that took a big burden off me and allowed me to let loose and learn to believe in my talents and my ability to take risks as a painter, to keep pushing and to continue this demonstration of who I am. The content of the Bluto work can be seen as forgiveness, something ethereal, as it has been throughout my career. My previous project "2 Years of Looking" was a group show in a London Gallery. I made a list of the most influential conversations I had had with artists over the previous 2 years and asked those on the list to be included in a group show as a record of these conversations, 48 artists contributed 72 artworks to this show.

I had my first solo shows in Minnesota at 20. I photographed suburban houses, like the one I grew up in with multicolored shadow's that I created through gelled lights surrounding them, referencing the invisible acts of love and cruelty that were taking place inside. My first shows in NYC were comprised of photographs of smells and sound and later sculptures based on ethereal events, Then I started drawing spirals while I listened to a song, the song title under the spiral became completed drawings. Then I started dripping plaster while a song played making cave-like sculptures of stalactites and stalagmites as a record of my experience listening. Next I made flowers out of porcelain while listening to music. The resulting flowering branches were a record of listening to an entire album.

My latest project "2 Years of Bluto" at the Marlborough Contemporary project room in February and March of 2019 Is my 11th solo show and my 2nd all painting show, it's taken me a while to learn how to make credible paintings and in the past two years this obsession with good and bad has been the fuel to hone my talents as a painter, and my ability to forgive as a human.”