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's early inspirations stemmed from creatures and characters of horror films. Watching these stories were a way for her to escape unpleasant realities during childhood. She creates intricate, hairless ceramic creatures—often adorable but also unsettling and bizarre. Her artwork has been published in Hi-Fructose Magazine, Hey! Magazine and Beautiful Bizarre Magazine. Sanada is represented by Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco where the artist currently lives and works.