Luce Artist Talk: Erik Thor Sandberg + Megan Van Wagoner and Saturated with the Subconscious

Saturated with the Subconscious by Erik Thor Sandberg and Megan Van Wagoner.

This month's Luce Artist Talk features artists Erik Thor Sandberg and Megan Van Wagoner, whose installation Saturated with the Subconscious uses ceramic pillows and rich imagery to explore the nature of vulnerability. Erik and Megan will talk about their process and inspiration and connect their work to pieces on view at the Luce Foundation Center. Luce Artist Talks are presented in collaboration with CulturalDC.

Signs reading "Please do not touch" are common at nearly every museum and gallery. They are an especially helpful reminder for viewing Erik Thor Sandberg and Megan Van Wagoner's collaborative installation, Saturated with the Subconscious, currently on view at Flashpoint Gallery. At first glance, it looks simply like a simple grid of pillows affixed to the wall. Closer inspection reveals that the white pillowcases are made of porcelain instead of the expected satin or cotton. Such ultra realistic work is the trademark of Van Wagoner, who recreates everyday objects with clay, metal, and glass, and elevates them to precious objects. In contrast to the super realism of the pillowcase, Sandberg has painted a totally fantastic scene on the pillow underneath. Grotesque skeletons and human/animal hybrids are two examples of the arresting, disturbing, yet beautiful imagery. The scenes on the pillows are the stuff of dreams and nightmares.

Sandberg and Van Wagoner will speak at the Luce Foundation Center at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 18. We are especially interested to hear how they relate their pieces to what is on view in the Luce Center. We definitely see a connection to Sylvia Hyman's Bookmobile.