In ‘Doom & Bloom,’ Lisa Ericson Illuminates the Surreal Impacts of Rising Sea Levels
October 6, 2023
Magical, surreal companionship characterizes Lisa Ericson’s hyperrealistic paintings in acrylic, which depict unusual pairs of species in easy coexistence. The Portland-based artist (previously) is known for illuminating flora and fauna and emphasizing the impending impacts of the climate crisis, particularly rising sea levels that in many of her latest works, encroach on her subjects’ environments. She shares about her chiaroscuro-style works:
I use the black background to create the drama of the spotlight on my chosen subject. It singles them out, exposes their every tiny detail, and creates a void of the unknown around them. In that way, each piece becomes an intimate portrait. I think of the animals in my paintings as simultaneously representing the natural world and also reflecting our own human struggle and emotion. I like to draw parallels between the two.
On view this month at Corey Helford Gallery, Ericson’s solo show Doom & Bloom features six portraits of animals that accentuate the devastating effects of a warming planet. In “Chariot,” a turtle carries an entire ecosystem across the road, while “Edge of Night” portrays a fox trapped on a tree stump blossoming with pink coneflowers. Each painting harnesses the intrigue of vivid color to draw the viewer in while also serving as a poignant reminder of what’s at stake, and the title of the exhibition suggests that gloom isn’t the only option amid such heartbreaking circumstances.
Doom & Bloom is on view in Los Angeles from October 7 to November 11. Head to Instagram to glimpse Ericson’s process and how these paintings came to be.
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