On view in the Thinkspace project room are new works by Portland-based artist Lisa Ericson in Border Crossing. Ericson’s meticulously rendered, hyperrealistic paintings are executed in acrylic on panel with the use of minute detailing brushes. She depicts supernatural amalgams of wild animals, everything from the surreal winged rodents she’s fondly coined ‘mouser-flies,’ to entire, parasitical ecosystems perched weightlessly upon the backs of other creatures, each dramatically set against pitch black backgrounds. Technically breathtaking, the works are optically dizzying in their depth, color, intensity, and contrast. In Ericson’s universe visual poetry abounds: a tree of monarchs emerges fantastically from the shell of a placid turtle host, while an entire miniature coral reef drags close behind on a beta’s fins.
Ericson’s works playfully consider the order and balance of natural bodies and systems through their reconfiguration. Recognizing the delicacy and interdependence of all natural infrastructures, the artist plays with their improbable remix, altering proportion and scale to fictional extremes. Through the creation of often whimsical hybrids, she considers the beginnings and ends of individual boundaries and collective frontiers, looking to the generative potential of thresholds and crossovers. Through the recombination of familiar parts, entirely new, beautifully abhorrent travelers are brought to life in Ericson’s composite creature worlds.