The Hole is proud to announce our third solo exhibition with Southern California-based artist Eric Yahnker.
From his home in Desert Hot Springs, CA, Yahnker has elaborated in pastel across large swaths of sandpaper a
vision of America today and a culture in need of a "factory reset", erasing all content and settings, wiping the
memory, rebooting the corrupted system.
The title piece in the show kicks things off by making us hold up a (cameraphone) mirror to our participation in
what has gone wrong. The celebrity, vanity and vacuousness of Warhol's aluminum foiled-"Factory" is easily
integrated into 2018's influencer-driven social media selfie culture. Was there any truly cool and avante gardist
strategies to come from that enclave of artmaking that weren't immediately obliterated when we all got
iPhones? And what can artmaking today achieve against such an all-encompassing visual foe? The pieces in the
show look at both how we got here and urgently ask how do we get the hell out of here.
Pastel on sandpaper is one of the most painterly techniques I’ve seen in drawing; the slight tooth of the paper
grabbing little fistfuls of colored dust off the pastels, leading to blendable and saturated brights. For an artist
who spent a decade exhausting his fingers with a million thin colored pencil and graphite marks he is now
scraping them off blending on sandpaper. Yahnker can work quicker and more loosely and doesn’t have to
layer fine lines over each other, he can smear in some shadow and splash on the highlights, leave a sketchy
edge or smooth subtle gradients. His quick mind can now be drawn out through quick execution.
As has always been the case for Yahnker, the subject matter he chooses is uncomfortable. Even what looks like
a purely uplifting and positive image can have layers of problematization that can sit funny to a viewer even
when you’re not sure why. A lot of visual signifiers go into each of these careful image puzzles, and every
decision counts. The audio guide for the show will let the artist describe in his own voice some of the layers of
thinking to take you down the rabbit hole of each piece should you so choose.
Gallery 3 is dedicated to one single piece, a series of 29 works that in order comprise sequential frames of an
animation. “Orange Privilege” is a hybrid drawing and video piece where each frame of a clip was executed in
pastel, from the blurry odd frames to the sharper focus I-frames, retaining some digital video artifacts and
crunchy bits of erratic color. The scene it captures is only 3 seconds long but deeply disturbing; Donald Trump
bear-hugs the American flag with an insipid grin on his face above a throng of eager reporters.
In the artist’s words: “Factory Reset is comprised of fifteen new pastel drawings and one large, room-filling
sequential animation that all try to metaphorically encapsulate the state of our union; its hopes, fears, desires
and mind-bending surreality come to life. All this is as seen through the cracked lens of a 40-something,
Jewish, West Coast progressive artist and political satirist, who not only deems himself a red, white and blueblooded
patriot, but is also a newly-minted father to a badass little girl that I’ll have to one day tell the story of
Trump to (without vomiting).”
For more information, please email [email protected].