ERIC LOTZER: 𝓖𝓻𝓮𝓮𝓷 𝓣𝓱𝓾𝓶𝓫
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Eric Lotzer's Instagram: @ericlotzer
Exhibition Date: August 1 - September 5
Artist Talk: August 9 on Instagram Live (9 am CST/10 am EST)
After fleeing New York City to escape the global pandemic, Eric Lotzer relocated to the magical mountains of Vermont. Influenced by the flora and fauna that he could not connect with in the city, Green Thumb takes the viewer away into a queer, forest fantasy of gender fluid, animalistic, primal beings who are naked and unafraid. The theme of fantasy is symbolized with both mythical and religious references, including Narcissus and Saint Sebastian. Facial expressions of euphoria take inspiration from manga, inviting the viewer to participate in their kinky humor while also revealing the viewer’s own sexual tendencies. The small scale of each drawing adds a level of intimacy to the transmutation of the body in the form of hairy claws, antennae, and elf ears. Green Thumb does refer to the gift for growing plants but is also meant to be sexualized, encouraging even the epithet of the work to be an erotic metamorphosis. The viewers are kindly invited to partake in these private moments within the lush forests.
Green Thumb explores queer desire and fantasy with images of nude figures frolicking through the woods. Prior to moving to Vermont, Eric Lotzer lived and worked in New York City. His “fairies” could be caught cruising the bathhouses or high at the club. Gritty, concrete terrain is now replaced by lush and wild greenery. The fairies have shed away their human coatings and merged with the natural energy surrounding them. Lotzer sifts through the bushes in the majestic forest to allow light to shine on queer sexuality in this exhibit. The intimate graphite drawings showcase how kink is implied in the works. In Saint Sebastian, a muscular figure, with hair styled to resemble raccoon tails, poses with a tree, shot by arrows. Resembling the patron saint of the plague, this particular fairy appears to be intentionally seeking out hunters in order to satisfy its sadomasochistic tendencies. Loud Whisperer, a lustful portrait of a young man with a python alludes to pleasure obtained from being strangled in domination. In Fruits of Our Labor, a clawed figure, submerged in water, shamelessly indulges in its foot fetish beneath a starry sky. Lotzer’s masterful renditions float by like pollen tinged with savagery, making the collection feel like a peaceful stroll in the woods. Despite the overt kinkiness of the drawings, the fairies are mirrored by their own innocence. The figures' natural surroundings reinforce the ravenous aspects of sexuality, while also humanizing it. Lively, underground communities that were previously hidden under the canopy are out and readily accepted. Their queer bodies now bask in the rejuvenating sunlight or moonlight. Molting the cocoons of their repressed past lives, Lotzer's fairies now roam the forest, wild and free.
After living and working in New York City for the past decade, Eric Lotzer (b. 1987 Minneapolis) recently relocated to the mountains of Vermont. As a millennial child, he found comfort in the alternate universes portrayed in Shel Silverstein illustrations, Studio Ghibli animations, 90’s Nickelodeon cartoons, Disney movies, Marvel Comics and Zelda to name a few. He would create his own queer narratives while referencing WWF wrestlers,the models on men’s underwear packaging, Pokémon, NinjaTurtles, his brother’s Smashing Pumpkin album covers, and his mother’s fashion magazines. Eric has always used drawing as a vehicle to create his own fantasy in order to escape reality, where his figures have always stayed alive. His work is in the Prints Collection of the New York Public Library and Yale University. A feature of his drawings was recently published in GAYLETTER Magazine, Issue 12. He will receive an MFA from Hunter College this fall.