Artist Statement

Alchemist Pursuit:
As a product of America’s plastic, throwaway culture, it’s prophetic that I make art out of the stuff people don’t want – junk they no longer need, but don’t quite throw away. My alchemist pursuit is a metaphor to how we interact with the earth. Sometimes the residue is called art, I call it DeJunked.

This assemblage process reflects themes of community and sustainability with the collaboration of artist and environment. Taking something used, and reworking it into something new, is a statement about the act of healing. The reclaiming of objects that would eventually inhabit a landfill directly affects our surroundings and it’s inhabitants.

Aesthetic Meditation:
I try not to think too much while working. This somewhat random meditation creates more playful results. Sometimes my work can resemble an aerial view of a city. I don’t think this is a coincidence. Society is put together in a relatively haphazard way: an electric pole here, fence post there, telephone wire over the house. The visual result is an infrastructure of grid-like patterns.

We are surrounded by an infinite number of overlapping shapes: the room you’re in, the house, the window to the street, the block, the county line, and so on. My instinctive process of aesthetic organization relates to this collective evolution of a city. As the years pass, the network of objects that congregate become more intricate. The same goes for the art. The longer I work, the more harmonious and intricate the patterns become. But these are not random acts of creativity, they are instinctive choices to create order within color, space, and concept.

The Sponge Toothbrush:
Somewhere inside every toothbrush is the memory of you brushing your teeth, the way you brush your teeth, and the way you hold your toothbrush. You might see MY toothbrush in the work, but in a way it becomes YOUR toothbrush. No matter what I try to communicate about something, I don’t think I can compete with that sponge-like quality of objects. So I don’t try to; I just put stuff together and let it speak for itself.

Erik Ritter


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