Art is tricky. Its appeal is entirely dependent upon the viewer, and people’s opinions of art run the gamut from swooning admiration to vehement loathing, with very little grey area in-between.
Every so often, however, an artist comes along who is able to neatly bridge that divide and present something completely novel. Eric Zener is such an artist, creating lush, water-themed works so enthusiastic that you half expect water to drip onto the floor.
The California-based artist uses water to evoke personal transformation, renewal and reflection, as well as an obligation-free asylum from the rush of daily life. His oil and mixed-media paintings are flawlessly depicted personal moments, moments just before the swimmer breaks the surface and is still swathed in bubbles, the surprisingly pensive moments of perfect, underwater quiet and the serendipitous energy of a perfectly-executed splash.
Slightly reminiscent of David Hockney, mid-century master of swimming pool scenes, Zener’s water paintings have a depth that makes you think the liquid is going to spill over the frame at any second, leaving you a little surprised but happily drenched.
Zener’s predilection for water is also present in his mixed-media pieces, comprised largely of beach and underwater scenes. Starting with a clear-film photograph, Zener then applies gold or silver leaf and ten layers of paint and resin to achieve the saturated, three-dimensional works.
Currently on exhibition in Dallas at the Stay ZaZa Art House and Social Gallery in collaboration with the Turner Carroll Gallery of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Zener’s work can also be seen in galleries across the country as well as in his new, large-format coffee table book.