Eric Sidner (US)

Eric Sidner - 5 Heads (Head 1, Head 2, Head 3, Head 4, Head 5) (2019)
Delirious (2019)
Photography Gert Jan van Rooij

Eric Sidner - 5 Heads (Head 1, Head 2, Head 3, Head 4, Head 5) (2019)

The multi-disciplinary work of the American artist Eric Sidner (b. 1985) defies all comparison with the practice of any other artist. For his sculptures and installations, he uses silicones, resin, polystyrene, plastic, glass, rubber, ceramics, metal and plaster, but also, for example, blow-up dolls, trampolines, leather belts and – a material that frequently appears in his work – a grainy and pastel-coloured American confection known as Hostess Sno Balls. The works can be solid but are also sometimes translucent or hollow and often inflated by a fan attached to the work.

His imaginative sculptures attract the viewer with their innocent appearance in soft, sweet colours while also repelling because of their apparently fleshy or moist surfaces. Sidner has made sculptures of eyeballs, an octopus with human legs, kitschy paintings of cats and dogs, depictions of children’s faces, but also of Jesus and Osama Bin Laden. A motif he often uses is snow, in the form of sculptures and drawings of snowballs, for example. And then there are also his pastel-coloured paintings of countless variations on snowmen, in a cartoon-like style, as cheerful little men with broad smiles and top hats. All of these extremely different elements are part of Sidner’s oeuvre and are featured in the most unexpected materials and formats and in the most seemingly random constellations and combinations. The result is as fascinating as it is alienating, leaving the viewer completely in the dark about the artist’s intentions. Is his work the materialization of the Facebook and Google algorithms that make endless, apparently meaningless connections, shaping our worldview without our truly being aware of it?

As part of DELIRIOUS, Sidner presented a variation on a work he previously created in soft silicones. This version is in styrofoam, but has retained its appearance as a rather creepy soft and soggy surface. In between a delicate mass of brambles stood a number of indefinable spherical sculptures that could just as easily be undiscovered molluscs as genetically manipulated pieces of exotic fruit.