WEEKEND is excited to present This Is So Much Better, an exhibition of multi-media works from Los Angeles-based artist Jay Erker.
Erker's work often manipulates subjects from readily available popular imagery which, in a simple and personal way, investigate the notion of identity in public space, hierarchies of dissemination, and the desire for meaning in contemporary life.
This Is So Much Better includes portraits taken from posters and fashion photography that Erker has covered, excised, and transformed into otherworldly ghost images that are far removed yet very much tied to their source material. In the work, Jonas Brothers, she has covered three posters of the boy band with paint stick, creating a set of images that are simultaneously visceral, haunting and humorous. The subjects have been removed/covered but tell-tale signs of the original pop iconography remain.
In the series, So Much Better, Erker excises the covers of fashion magazines by cutting away at the layers, as if searching for some meaning behind the impermeable slick surface. By re-photographing the result of her cuttings, the final images create another impenetrable surface.
Erker offers that she desires "to make things real" in her work. By applying luscious tactile pigment to opaquely flat images and carving shapes out of magazines as if she were carving her name into a tree, Erker seems to be attempting to transpose her identity onto the surface of this public iconography, making a connection to imagery that only transmits information in one direction. In much the same way as an irreverent provocateur might draw a mustache on a film poster at a bus stop, Erker declares: This Is So Much Better.
Jay Erker is an MFA graduate of California Institute of the Arts. She has been included in various group exhibitions in Los Angeles, NY and San Francisco and is currently a director at WEEKEND.