Studio Visit & Artist Interview: Erika Sanada

by Kim Larson July 28, 2015

We began working with Erika Sanada in 2010 and surprisingly, the first piece we exhibited of hers was a graphite drawing. Shortly after meeting, we were introduced to her sculptures and we had an instant connection to the subjects and recognized her special talent and unique skill. Seeing the public’s reaction to her amazing sculptures over the years has been an exciting and rewarding experience. Works from her debut solo “Odd Things” at the gallery were published in Hi-Fructose Magazine (Vol. 31) and her newest pieces are planned for September’s issue of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine (Issue 10). A few weeks ago, I stopped by Erika’s studio to check out the progress of the pieces, snap a few pictures, and to ask her a few questions about her upcoming solo show at Modern Eden, “Fighting Spirit”:

KL: What was your inspiration for "Fighting Spirit" and how did you select your subject matter?

ES: My previous shows were mainly reflections of the constant fears and anxieties I struggle with in my daily life. I have a generally anxious personality that can be overwhelming at times. I constantly and excessively worry about my health, friends, family, money and everyday things more so than the regular person. This is something I'm fighting to overcome and hoping it echoes in the theme of my upcoming show, “Fighting Spirit.”

KL: Your work has come a long way since your 2013 solo show, "Odd Things" at Modern Eden. How have you seen your new series progress compared to previous works?

ES: As my work evolves, I’m always trying to insert more activity and gesture into the animals I sculpt. I feel my previous work was a bit stiffer and my new work reflects a more dynamic style of storytelling.

KL: What's the most exciting thing that's happened to you as an artist?

ES: When my work was published in Hi-Fructose! It was the first time to see my work in a published magazine and I was so excited. 

KL: What’s your favorite piece from the show and why?

ES: My favorite is "Fighting Spirit" (above) because it definitely sets the tone for the show. It’s also the first time I’m playing around with the horns of another animal on one of my dog subjects. It’s a fun new detail/idea that I’ll definitely explore in the future.

KL: Who is your all-time favorite artist?

ES: HR Giger (Above) is my favorite artist. His Alien gave me the idea of a different type of beauty and I was so inspired by his alien designs. His art has been a reference and inspiration for some of my creatures and I liked his idea of a biomechanoid.

KL: What’s your daily life like? What are some things you do when you’re not painting / making art?

ES: I watch a lot of movies and TV shows when I have free time. They make me relax and inspired, especially Horror and Sci-Fi.

Fighting Spirit debuts on August 15, 2015 at Modern Eden Gallery.
More info about the exhibition can be found HERE.
Kim Larson
Kim Larson

Kim Larson is the Gallery Director and Co-Owner at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco's historic North Beach neighborhood. Opened in June 2010, the gallery features monthly exhibitions of established and emerging artists. The gallery's contemporary aesthetic ranges from realism to surrealism with a strong focus on illustrative painting and representational sculpture. She is a pround member of the San Francisco Art Dealers Association and the current Director of North Beach First Fridays. Her passion for art started at a young age and continues today with her private art collection.

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