Raised by farmers and cultivated by mystics Eric Beltz’s hypnotically detailed drawings explore a world of rural magic. Working in series with titles like American Visions, Back to Eden, and Trance Farm he blends history, religion, shamanism, and botany. Injecting text like both an essayist and a poet, Beltz further expands his references crossing cultures and historical eras. The suggestive connections of unrelated texts forming compositional lines and swooshes around the various characters are didactic yet remain enigmatic as pictures. Likewise, the plants, buildings and landscapes behind the figures are equally specific in reference (a pile of weeds may be a medieval herbal remedy for dysentery), but are offered only as scenery. Although crisp in definition, Beltz’s drawings offer a translucent world of infinite depth. Expanding on this figurative work is the pattern-obsessed series Elementary Forces. These drawings do not describe historical figures in altered states, they seek to create eye-popping experiences here and now. Based on an 1/8” hand-drawn grid like those used to layout cross-stitch patterns, Beltz’s drawings slip through domestic craft into psychedelia, sly puns, taboo design elements, Apocryphal references, and dark humor. The name Elementary Forces itself refers to both the basic principles of childhood learning as well as the fundamental, governing principles underlying nature.
Eric Beltz is represented in Los Angeles by Koplin del Rio Gallery.