Chromatherapy / Heron Arts, San Francisco




Split Exhibition with Liz Tran
December 2020

Heron Arts
San Francisco, CA

soundscape by: Connor O’Sullivan



Erik Otto created this body of work in response to the tumultuousness of 2020, each piece is an opportunity for solace and aspiration amidst uncertainty. Gridlocked by the pandemic, Otto pivoted to  embrace unconventional materials thus monumentalizing their everyday grace. Sculptural paintings of  molded sand and plaster are marked with gestural strokes and explore color gradients, reminiscent of the  sun’s daily rotation. Dark, contemplative landscapes, contrast those left raw and natural, others explore  teal and golden hues. Guiding the viewer are streaks of soft, calming neon, which the artist designed with a fabricator in Brooklyn. These works respond to their environment. Hits of silver flakes and glass beads are folded into the coarse facades, dancing with the neon and in full embrace of surrounding light—illuminating reflective magic for the curious viewer. For Otto, sand symbolizes fleeting time and the  culmination of small gestures coming together. To animate the gallery space, Otto has created a site-specific installation of colorful hanging panels made with specialty film and activated by regenerative, ambient music composed by San Francisco music producer Connor O’Sullivan. Viewers can walk in between and around the panels, abstracting the wall hangings through a tinted veil and lighting. An installment of his Surface & Light series, Otto explores the insecurity of our current moment through these contrasting elements, resulting in work that celebrates this journey through chromatherapy, personal reflection, and reprieve.