"I utilize the action figure form in my sculptural work to explore the issue of social anxiety. As an adult, I face impediments in my social life because of my anxious personality. Issues that arise for me include: the avoidance of unfamiliar social interactions, heightened nervousness in the company of strangers, crowds, peers and intermittently among friends and family. Even as a child I was reserved and apprehensive, so I turned to toys to keep me entertained. I believe the tactile activity of playing with toys coupled with my active imagination helped establish this passion for the action figure early on. There was something about picking up your favorite hero or villain and creating stories and adventures that captivated me. It feels only natural now to tap into this childlike sense of exploration and storytelling through my artwork. The action figure is a recurring form in my sculptural work that attempts to inhabit and become a part of its environment. The result serves as a metaphor for my struggles with social anxiety and the desire to overcome it." ~Calvin Ma
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.