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About the Artist -- (Article by: G vR - 2018)
Eric Moller has been exhibiting his works since 1995. He has had eight solo exhibitions, taken part in numerous group exhibitions, was nominated twice as finalist in the PPC Sculpture Competition and was granted a SANAVA residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. On this occasion he wrote a book about his experiences (86 Days in the City of Lights) which was subsequently published both locally and internationally. He is a teacher of Visual Arts and lives a quiet life with his three dogs in the East of Pretoria.
Moller grew up in 'what was then a small sea-side town'. He hated school and was uncomfortable with family-life so he mostly headed off on his own. When he wasn't bounding after butterflies or accosting arachnids, he spent his time in the many secret spaces between the rocks by the sea, where he snorkelled and always found himself fascinated and utterly in awe of the alien and exotic life-forms that existed beneath the surface of the ocean.
'Had it not been that the Art Bug bit me early in my life, I would have been a Bug Scientist - no doubt!' he says.
'It is my early fascination with Natural History in its entirety that still drives my art today. In my art the expression is more condensed, though, in that it deals with a search for - or maybe an understanding of - the essence of the life force. It's about what makes us aware, feel, twitch and respond... about what makes us happy and sad; all in a very human, inexplicable way. On the one hand it is the love of life, the mystery, the magic, the incomprehensible mind-bending BIGNESS of it all... on the other it is the sadness I have felt all my life; the loneliness, the fear and powerlessness against the greater forces of the universe as much as the inescapable skin-rupturing roughness of the hands of bullies and overbearing blobs of shallow humanity who scream and shout and blunder and stumble their way through the delicacy, precision and sweat-on-skin beauty which is intelligent life.'
There is surely so much more that can be said about the man and his work. There are unfathomable depths that even he finds difficult and perplexing to explore, there is that scientific understanding of the stuff that holds us all together, there are so many more questions and there have most probably never really been answers. He refers to 'a great, dull, mindless void' and I can see it scares him. As part of Mother Nature's ironic sense of humour, there is in him an almost child-like happiness, the most alluring smile and the funniest, most on-the-spot sardonic jokes you've ever heard.
So, I shall leave you with this: When you look at the works of Eric Moller, first see the colours, the tight composition, and the lines that twirl and contort in seductive dances and always lead you back to a new place - another place to start off from. Observe the pulsating shadows that entice you to search for more. See LIFE! See his technical mastery of the various mediums he uses. Now see 'the void', creeping up from behind. Somewhere in all of that celebration lurks something dark... something deplorably empty and desperate to be happy... something that threatens to suck life, love, beauty and joy from all that we know. It is mostly announced (quite paradoxically) by the deepest tone of Moller's favourite colour - Prussian Blue.
As your mind boggles and wrestles with unexpected contortions, the artist does his magic - and you can always depend on it: the colours, lines, textures and all those other things that first you saw and that make these works so alluring grab a hold of you again and pull you back from the precipice. Suddenly there is joy. Life has meaning again.
These things, and probably other stuff we have not yet considered, make this artist's work so VERY important.
'... until the big asteroid hits us, of course...!' Eric Moller chuckles to himself.
Eric Moller has works in private and corporate collections in South Africa, The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, Portugal, The United States, The Netherlands and Singapore.
Eight solo exhibitions and fourteen group shows.
University of Pretoria
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