ERIC LEE

Eric Lee

Eric Lee
Lucifer, 2012
[EL.06]
Oil embedded match-heads on hard board
24 x 37 in.

ERIC LEE WAS BORN IN 1974 IN DULUTH, MINNESOTA AND GREW UP IN GRANDVIEW, A SMALL TOWN IN THE NORTHERN PART OF WISCONSIN NEXT TO CHEQUAMEGON NATIONAL FOREST. AS A CHILD HE WAS ONE OF NINE STUDENTS IN HIS PRIMARY CLASS.

HE EARNED A TECHNICAL DEGREE IN MECHANICAL DRAFTING IN 1998, BUT ALWAYS HAD A CREATIVE PASSION IN THE ARTS AND BEGAN PAINTING IN 2002. COMBINING HIS LOVE FOR PRECISE DETAIL WITH HIS CURIOSITY FOR EXPERIMENTING WITH NON-TRADITIONAL BUILDING MATERIALS, LEE GRADUATED SUMMA CUM LAUDE WITH A BACHELORS OF FINE ARTS IN PAINTING FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN IN 2010.

LEE’S MEDIUM OF CHOICE IS OIL, WHICH HE OFTEN COMBINES WITH A NUMBER OF EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUES AND PRODUCTS. THESE INCLUDE FURNITURE STAIN, ASHES, CONCRETE, IGNITED GUNPOWDER, DIGITAL COMPONENTS, AND A VARIETY OF PAPER PRODUCTS. HIS BODY OF WORK REFLECTS HIS FASCINATION WITH LIFE CYCLES AND WHAT PEOPLE LEAVE BEHIND. MANY OF THESE LIFE CYCLES FOCUS ON THE BOOM AND BUST OF CITIES, GROWTH FROM DECAY, THE TEMPORAL, THE MAN-MADE VERSUS THE NATURAL WORLD AND HUMAN ANXIETY. HE DRAWS INSPIRATION FOR THESE SUBJECTS FROM SUPERIOR, WISCONSIN, AND THE CITY’S POST-INDUSTRIAL ERA DEPRESSION. TO LEE, SUPERIOR IS A MODERN EXAMPLE OF THE RISE AND FALL OF CIVILIZATIONS AND ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE AMERICAN CHARACTER.

LEE ALSO FEELS A SPECIAL CONNECTION TO AND APPRECIATION FOR NORTHERN RENAISSANCE ART, AS THESE ARTISTS PAID SUCH INTIMATE ATTENTION TO DETAIL IN EVERY OBJECT THEY PAINTED. HE INTERPRETS THE EXPRESSIVENESS IN THEIR WORK AS THE ARTISTS’ ENCOURAGING THEIR VIEWERS TO REALIZE THAT EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS SACRED.

LEE WON A STATEWIDE SEARCH COMMISSION TO CREATE A PUBLIC WORK FOR JAMF SOFTWARE IN EAU CLAIRE, WI. HE WAS INSPIRED BY THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK ON A PIECE WITH NO PRESSURE OR RESTRICTIONS. LEE APPRECIATED THE CONFIDENCE THE COMMITTEE EXPRESSED IN HIS ARTISTIC ABILITIES AND THE FREEDOM TO FOLLOW HIS OWN CREATIVE IMPULSES. HIS WORK IS NOW ON PERMANENT DISPLAY IN THE MAIN ENTRANCE AT THE JAMF SOFTWARE OFFICE IN DOWNTOWN EAU CLAIRE. HIS WORK HAS ALSO BEEN SHOWN IN SOLO AND GROUP EXHIBITIONS IN EAU CLAIRE, INCLUDING FOSTER GALLERY, THE VOLUME ONE GALLERY, STATE STREET GALLERY IN MADISON, AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT IN MINNEAPOLIS.

ERIC LEE CURRENTLY LIVES AND WORKS IN EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN.