Inspired by everyday life in Los Angeles, Erik Mark Sandberg’s work addresses issues such as globalization, gentrification, consumerism, and love in the modern day. His allegorical narratives incorporate an experimental mix of digital 3-D modeling, printmaking, photography, drawing, and collage. For Sandberg, the use of composite imagery symbolizes the disconnect that technology creates between man’s natural environment and the ersatz reality of the digital realm.
Drawing from contemporary consumer culture and its psychological effects on those most susceptible to the relentless bombardment of mass marketing, Sandberg’s paintings, and sculptures create an uncanny portrait gallery of hairy adolescents. The grotesque hirsutism of Sandberg’s subjects serves as a metaphor for the perversion and exploitation inherent in contemporary consumer culture and the double-edged promise of overnight fame epitomized by Los Angeles.
Sandberg describes his work as beginning with observations of daily life, whether it’s a story in the news, or some dysfunctional family I see walking through Kmart. For example, his hairy adolescents were conceived of amidst alarmist news reports of tap water contaminated by prescription drugs.