Every fifteenth day of the month there will be a new featured artist on the Dyslexic Playground. This month I am happy to showcase the work of Milwaukee Artist Eric Koester. I chose Eric’s work because it speaks about American culture both past and present. I am fascinated by the way his paintings and collages document the changing landscape of America. Eric’s work is comforting and fun along with a bit unsetlling and intellectual.
Eric Koester is a regional visual artist whose art explores American contemporary issues of consumerism, the environment, food and war using bright plastic colors and vintage images of Americana pop culture. He has earned a BA degree from UW- Stout and he studied Graphic Design at the FH in Hildesheim, Germany. Eric Koester’s sculptures, paintings, collages and screen prints have been shown both regionally and internationally.
Eric Koester has worked with various artists including: German artists Helge Huber and Sandra Ernst. He has shown in Hildesheim and Berlin Germany and is in the collections of The Circus Youth Hostel Berlin and Andreas Diegel. He built scenery for nearly ten years including: Operas and Musicals for Music Under the Stars in Milwaukee. He has exhibited in Six Culture Jam Shows, Forward: the Milwaukee Biennial at the Charles Allis Art Museum, Waysides: John Michael Kohler Museum in Sheboygan, SeeMe: Times Square Digital Show in NYC and the Racine Art Museum. Eric currently lives in Milwaukee expressing his unique perspective on American culture in various mediums.
My work combines iconic imagery to develop a platform for dialogue expressing my perspective on social issues. It is a glimpse backward in historical content while combining modern day context creating a juxtaposition between nostalgia and American contemporary issues. My vision is a symbolic landscape of a cultural wasteland that reflects shadows of a substructure that supports an environment that surrounds us. Memories and cultural references serve as signposts to guide the viewer. I utilize saccharine colors to reference childhood sensibilities allowing the audience to confront the tension expressed in graphic symbols.