Over the years, Eric Hongisto has made site-specific installation pieces by painting directly on walls and floors, incorporating a variety of media to realize his artistic endeavors. His work explores his interest in space and how architectural illusions are created in the mind. The final outcome demonstrates that his artwork is not necessarily an object but more so an undefined space—it is less tangible, more of a theatrical experience. He is interested in representing the notion of change over time in the mind of the viewer. Color and form help communicate these ideas through his questioning of their functionality.
For his work at Dieu Donné, Hongisto layers a variety of colorful pigments onto abaca paper to produce paper wads and balls for works resembling a gumball machine, marbles, or a Twister gameboard gone amok. He has configured a site-specific installation in line with what he calls “plants or stars, and simultaneously, microcosms of cells, quantum worlds.” Coming from a background in painting, Hongisto is drawn to how that medium “may feel like if it were allowed three dimensions”.
The opportunity to work in a different medium was great—it will remain in my artistic vocabulary.
—Eric Hongisto, 2000
Eric Hongisto received a BFA in Painting from Maine College of Art and an MFA in Painting/Printmaking from Yale University School of Art. He has also studied at Skowhegan School in Maine and is an associate professor at the University of San Francisco.