Exhibition Statement from the Artist: My work is about my fears and concerns. Growing up, I was always bullied by other kids, causing me to develop constant, uncontrollable anxiety. My parents got me a dog to help me cope; his name was Chapes, and we became very close. He made me happy and I loved him, but he had his dark side too. He would occasionally bite me, causing me to feel betrayed and sad. This experience led me to use a dog to represent myself in my work, having both a light and dark side. The dogs in my artwork all have unusual details – three eyes, two tails, extra legs and arms – that represent the anxieties that are still a part of me. The rats and birds present with the dogs are further extensions of myself and my fears. My parents own a restaurant, and I used to see my dog Chapes chasing rats around the outside of our building. I perceived this as a metaphor for me chasing and eventually facing my fears. Birds, like my anxieties, are difficult to contain and control, and are always a part of me and my work.
Erika Sanada was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Her early inspirations stemmed from creatures and characters of Horror films. In 2009, she received her BA in Communications and Design at Nihon University College of Art in Tokyo. After working as a commercial illustrator and a movie studio makeup artist, Erika arrived in San Francisco, where she received her MFA in sculpture. Since Sanada’s debut solo show at Modern Eden in 2013, her artwork has been published in Hi-Fructose Magazine, Bl!sss Magazine, and Beautiful Bizarre Magazine.
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