Erik Beehn is a mixed media artist currently in the graduate program through Print Media at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Beehn received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from SAIC in 2005, before relocating to Los Angeles, where he was trained as a master printer for Gemini GEL. He has participated in group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, including solo exhibitions in Las Vegas Nevada, where he held an Adjunct Instructor position at the College of Southern Nevada.
In 2012 Beehn lectured at the University of North Dakota, and The University of Las Vegas as a visiting artist. Beehns work explores the individual experience of memory, and routine, through blue-collar environments of the American vernacular.
It seems only natural to find comfort in familiarity. As I explore my surroundings I find that predigested environments act as vehicles to memories past, and while unfamiliar environments may act as gateways for new experiences, they may also lead to a sense of discomfort. It is this disquieting aspect found in the American landscape that I depict in my work; portrayals of the mundane, and occasionally unsettling, which are often taken for granted in our everyday lives. My work honors the ordinary in our everyday lives in hopes of creating a personal experience for my viewer.
I am interested in the common familiarities within a space that allow my viewer to personalize their experience with my work. Although my work is derived from my own experiences, my intention is to allow my viewer to recollect on their own memories. I am also interested in the small details within a space, such as texture or reflected light, and how such details may trigger unique recollections for my viewer. By maintaining a sense of mystery with my subject, I hope to enable my viewers to enter the work on their own terms.
Creating buoyant descriptions of middle class environments I encourage the viewer to take notice of that which is least often considered. Exploring interiors and landscapes, littered with personal detritus, my intention is to delineate the familiar from the unfamiliar. Tranquil depictions of public settings become private moments allowing my viewer to act as either intruder or explorer, inviting them to fill the quiet voids of isolation with their own recollections.
Erik Beehn, 2012
Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.