May 03 — Jun 16
May 3rd, 6 -8 PM
Viewing Room, New York
Viewing Room is pleased to announce Erik Bergrin: Shadowwork, an exhibition of monolithic fiber sculptures by the preeminent Brooklyn-based artist. This exhibition, to take place in Marlborough Contemporar’s Project Space, will be Bergrin’s first solo project with the gallery.
Erik Bergrin is a sculptor who fuses indigenous and contemporary fiber techniques in works which deconstruct human psychology. Using materials as cultural symbols, the artist draws on his extensive background in costume design, as well as a deep interest in meditation and the investigation of the mind. Bergrin began his artistic practice creating costumes for New York City nightlife, tailoring costumes for Broadway theatre, and producing props for high-end fashion editorials. Bergrin now focuses on constructing wearable fiber sculptures which are linked within an ongoing ritualistic narrative. Notions of the subconscious dream state, death, rebirth, entrapment, and mental hell permeate his visceral and monumental works, larger than life-sized. Embracing the darker corners of the human mind, the works take on a cocoonlike quality, using materials which evoke the corporeal, such as cotton, wood, and jute.
Bergrin’s artwork and costume design has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, New York Magazine, Dazed and Confused, Bullett, Zoo, Schon, and King Kong Magazine. He has been commissioned by Lady Gaga and PERFORMA festival, and has designed for feature films such as “Violet Tendencies.” In 2018 he provided costume designs for “The Origin of Love: The Songs and Stories of Hedwig and John Cameron Mitchell.” His work has been exhibited in NYC at Printed Matter, The Public Theatre, AC Institute, and National Sawdust, as well as internationally, hitting Australia, Belgium and the U.K. within the past year. He holds a BA in psychology and theatre arts from Pace University. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Shadowwork is a culmination of Bergrin’s studies of traditional fiber techniques and Buddhist meditation, seeking to bring the viewer into a confrontation with their own shadows via ritual and personal narrative. Nine monolithic fiber sculptures encircle the audience, each representing metaphoric mental spaces, such as “the opening” and “the cocoon.” Bergrin has designed performative rituals around each sculpture, lighting candles and using a bell to transition between each work. “Staring at the details will leave viewers with a sense of wonder and fright,” explains Bergrin. The intense emotional quality of the works reflect a deep observation of all consuming negative thought patterns within the artist’s own mind. The after math phase is illustrated in the last three works of the series, the “disappearing of the rainbow body,” which are inspired by the Buddhist concept of the “rainbow body” appearing at death. In Bergrin’s circle of shadows, the “rainbow body” is consumed by blackness, showing that all that was good has been taken away. The overall body of work is inspired by the practice of calling out, and confronting, one’s shadows while in a subconscious dream state. Each work was developed over a period of time, the intention of each shadow woven methodically into its core.