Eric Helgas is 22, and lives in Brooklyn, NY. He recently received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Eric’s work revolves around media and its constructed realities and addresses ideas of desire, illusion and artifice.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I just self-published my third book titled WHO PUT HOT SAUCE IN MY JUICE and I’m currently working on a new project right now that should be released sometime later this year.
What are you currently watching on Netflix/what’s on your Netflix queue? I’m constantly watching bad reality television on my roommates Netflix account. Hopefully she will renew her subscription next year. I can’t get enough of Rock of Love…
How did your interest in art begin? I’ve always been a very visual person, so becoming an artist seemed natural. I can’t see myself doing anything else.
If you had to explain your work to a stranger, what would you say? My work focuses a lot on iconic imagery and challenges the viewer’s perception of the objects I choose to photograph.
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? I shoot medium format film and work mostly with an on-camera flash. My use of blatant artificial light helps to inform the ideas that my work explores. My choice of subject matter is also a huge part of my process- whether I’m scouting models I meet on the internet, or shopping in 99-cent stores. I’m always looking for cheap, accessible objects to photograph.
What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you? I just saw Piotr Ukla?ski’s show Pornalikes at Karma. I’m fascinated with the idea of porn stars that resemble celebrities. It totally speaks about the extent of today’s celebrity obsession, which is definitely something I have been exploring in my own work.
What is your snack/beverage of choice when working in your studio? I always have an iced coffee at hand when working, even in the winter.
What do you do when you’re not working on art? When I’m not working on art I’m usually out people watching, eating bagels or eating bagels while people watching.
What are you really excited about right now? Astro-turf, porcelain veneers, cannolis and tabloid magazines.
If you hadn’t become an artist what do you think you’d be doing? I have no idea. I’d probably have a degree in something normal and boring.