Bio & Artist Statement


Erika Rier is a self-taught artist working mostly in inks and paints on paper in a style she calls folk surrealism. After many years of oil painting and designing clothes, she shifted her focus to works on paper. Writing was her first love and she still secretly writes fiction but never poetry anymore. Having lived in Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, NYC, and Arizona, and Washington state; Erika now resides in Portland, OR.  She also has one of each of the following: a husband, a daughter, and a cat.


Artist Statement


My work is particularly focused on portraying the inner life of womxn as well as changing our expectations of womxn’s roles as a subject within art. It is my mission to create art depicting womxn engaged with their world and shaping their reality, rather than depicting passive womxn shaped by the male gaze. It is important to me that when a female-identifying person looks at my work they see their own struggles and realities and dreams reflected back at them and that they see the beauty we each possess is our ability as womxn to persist no matter the obstacles.


Using ink, watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper I create work in a style I call folk surrealism. I’m focused on developing a visual narrative which I have been building over the past decade built with pattern, color, and line. I create pieces that draw viewers in with their bright colors and delicate line work but as the viewer delves deeper into the piece they find themselves immersed in a complex narrative. The narrative thread in my work is constantly evolving, each drawing is almost the next page in a wordless book. My work draws heavily upon folk tales and mythology as a means to examine themes of the modern world. I seek to twist narratives to make old themes feel new and of-the-moment.


From Her Father’s House, 28″x40″, 2017