Text by Simon Watson
Christian Holstad—artist, performer, and all-around Renaissance man—is best known for his sculptural installations and collages, but he has also been working on a parallel project in which he reworks photographs cut from newspapers, using eraser and pencil. Called “Eraserheads,” these drawings are a quieter and darker version of his well-known collages in which he juxtaposes erased newspaper images with graphite lines, to delineate a new way of seeing. Among the “Eraserheads” you’ll find a man whose face consists only of eyes or a half-headed figure whose gleefully squinting orbs float above the rest of the body. Eerie reveries, these works are reminiscent of the madness and brilliance of Goya’s Los Caprichos.
Holstad’s artistic practice touches on a quasi-scientific and aesthetic question concerning the experience of cognition—or, as he says, “in particular, the shifty relationship between touch, neurology, and sublimer states.” The “Eraserheads” also function as a subtle critique of the media, politics, and society at large. Holstad’s work appeared in the 2004 Whitney Biennial, and he is represented by Daniel Reich Gallery in New York.
Eraserheads, 2003, courtesy: Collection Carnegie Museum of Art Courtesy of Daniel Reich Gallery, New York