Eric N. Mack’s paintings and sculptures interweave purchased and found materials with abstract painting, soft sculpture, wearable fashion, display devices, and expanding notions of beauty. In his work, Mack seems to grapple with the traditional schism between fine art and fashion through his direct engagement with clothing’s cycle of novelty, outmodedness, and eventual decrepitude. Fashion has permeated Mack’s life since his childhood. Growing up, he would sometimes help out in his father’s discount clothing store. Today, his sister is a clothing designer, and he closely follows and writes about runway shows online.
Willow within the Form of Prose is constructed largely out of carefully selected fabric and features formerly functional domestic objects, including a blanket, window shade, bamboo garden trellis, and straw hat. Here, the artist has largely prevented his materials from accomplishing their intended use, but he has maintained, and even highlighted, their former functions and connections to the human body. Here, Mack mobilizes fashion and home goods in his approach to painting as a means to frame everyday life.