Thursday, January 24, 2008

etsy shop: ejwarhus
listing: like cake (be sure to hit the zoom link below the image to see all the detail)
artist: Erika Warhus

Today's etsyart.com feature is a mixed media painting by Portland artist Erika Warhus. Just the other day etsyart.com featured fellow Portlander, Sarah Kamsler. I don't know what the city of Portland puts in its water, but it sure helps their artists produce interesting abstract art.

Erika's "like cake" can be enjoyed as purely abstract art with no subjective connections or as a representational painting as implied by the title, or better yet as both. Her painting blurs the line between abstract and reality. It that respect I am reminded of celebrated Abstract Expressionist icon, Willem de Kooning. The use of repeated forms and layering of colors and shapes are more themes in Erika's work that recall de Kooning. This loose abstract association allows the viewer to use their imagination to fill in the spaces to define representation.

Yet, the spirit of the Erika's work couldn't be more different that de Kooning. Where de Kooning's paintings express feelings of anger and angst, Erika's paintings denote a sense of explorative joy.