Eric Magassa is one of those very few artists whose practice can be impressively diversified in the media as much as solid in its vast complexity. His capacity of working with completely different techniques, of letting himself wander through the realm of experimentation and at the same time never lose his path is something rare to witness.
It can be a chaotic collage of squared, ripped, colourful pieces of paper, a bright pink wooden sculpture created by modifying a traditional African statuette, the picture of an Oceanic idol covered in glossy paper—cuts or a digital photography of a dirty Swedish suburbia but it would anyway clearly belong to the same powerful and poetic visual imagery. The work of Eric Magassa speaks the tongue of colours, surfaces, abstract geometries and figuration, and it draws inexhaustible inspiration form the African art and culture challenging and juxtaposing it with a deep knowledge and insight on the Modern and Contemporary Western art tradition with the most intriguing results.
The ever expanding universe of Eric Magassa is kept together by a restless, deep search for perfection in the composition and by the presence of an almost spiritual ratio in the construction of any image he creates. The uncountable elements that fill his works, the stains, the footprints, the traces of stripped off parts of his collages as much as the erased lines on a wall or a pile of thrash on one of his photographies are all part of a chaotic cosmos that the artist is capable to control with his strong methodic approach while being able to preserve its unique vitality in a dialectic process that is at the origin of the delicate and sometimes brutal complexity of his works.
Sunburns tries to explore this multifaceted, kaleidoscopic approach to art practice offering for the first time a complete overview of all the different media and directions of Eric Magassa’s work. The large canvas collages are juxtaposed to his street photography as his sculptures stands next to his fetich—based paper works. The gallery is transformed and the show has the power of a full room installation. The walls are painted in bright colours and an hand-made flag waves outside, as signalling the entrance into another realm, a world entirely shaped by the interaction and the perfect equilibrium of the pieces, where everything is blessed with the unmistakable touch and unique artistic sensibility of Eric Magassa.
Eric Magassa (Linköping, 1972) spent most of his youth moving back and forth between Gothenburg and Paris with his Swedish mother and French father from Senegalese and Malian descent. As a student Magassa subsequently lived in London and New York to study at Central Saint Martins and The Art Students League of New York. His works stem from experiments with different media ranging from paintings to drawings, sculptures, collages, videos and textiles.