Erik Šille is an established name on the Central European market and one of the most collectable Slovak artists. A quick glance at his work reveals the immediate appeal of his edgy pop esthetics. Erik's colorful paintings capture and reflect his fascination for consumerism and pop-culture.
Šille draws inspiration for his vivid three dimensional works from unusual, yet familiar sources: comic books, cartoons, computer games, street art, graffiti, tattoo art and more. The form and substance of his creations is influenced by package design, advertising, the entertainment business and even political propaganda.
His unique technique involves applying acrylic paint to canvas in smooth, even and clean strokes enhanced with soft brush drawings. The brushstrokes are rendered invisible, seemingly disguising the artist’s hand. The apparent purity and strictly calculated perfection of Šille’s stories is juxtaposed with the myriad of compositionally calculated elements like stains, pours, sprays and gestural interventions through which the artist’s hand is made manifest.
The main protagonists of Šille's works are characters from popular cartoons and comic books caught in circumstances contrary to the clear and ideal world they come from. He relies on gaudy colors and transforms “fast” digital imagery into a slow medium: painting. His interest in pop culture phenomena, the irrational characteristics of globalization, society and its local specifics.
Šille's work is characterized by distinctive visual overcrowding, an "infestation" of symbols, not dissimilar in the way they are compiled to Dadaist and surrealist collages.
This oversaturation characteristic of his paintings corresponds to the supersaturation of the subject living in the late modern era, the main mantras of which are growth, continuous acceleration, simultaneity, increasing competition and efficiency in the professional and private life.
Although his works often include references to pressing ecological and social problems, Šille does not overtly moralize in his works. Neither does he declare his position on the issues. Rather he is fascinated by the cycle of ceaseless consumption whether of products or relationships.
Anatomy is a discipline concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Gross anatomy in particular has traditionally required dissection and visual inspection of the external or internal organs of a subject. In his emergent Anatomy cycle (2015) Šille has appropriated the idea of visual dissection to probe human feelings and concepts.
Inside the juicy-looking, colorfully painted entrails nestle tiny humans and animals. From a tangle of pink and blue bowels peep out cartoonish eyes. Hot dogs march over the surface of this anatomical mass.
Whether expressed through colors, morphology or even in the stories he tells, the sense of tension or conflict is ever present in Šille’s paintings.
At first glance the components of an Erik Šille painting are difficult to decipher. After all, how does one dissect helplessness?
Šille's cycle is not about analysis of the collective (sub)consciousness, but rather an autopsy of collective helplessness in the pursuit of personal happiness in the era of joyful consumption of unnecessary things.