Tag Archives: New York City nightlife

Spotlight: Erik Foss

In anticipation of Unseen on TV opening

Saturday, November 14th 2009, 7-11pm at Gallery Three.

Erik Foss has his eyes fixed on Gallery Three, and we are staring right back. Joining us for a solo exhibit opening next Saturday, we never know what to expect from Foss. Since he is such a unique guy, we have arranged a little tour of Erik’s many interests. As a curator, artist, gallery owner, and nightlife insider there is much to know. We’ll start with the basics.

Erik Foss

© Black Book Mag

A Word from Foss

“I am an artist. When I came here I wasn’t of a pedigreed art background, nor did I come from money. So I showed my work in bars like Max Fish, Luna Lounge, and Life. I work 7 days a week and have since I was 15 years old. I paint and make art in my studio, which my bar pays for. I curate and show artists I like, and that’s it. I buy art I like. In fact, I spend all the extra money I make on other peoples’ art.” –Interview with Erik Foss, Black Book Mag


Foss joined with Curse Mackey to curate Draw in 2008, an exhibition made up entirely of works in pencil and pen. The show traveled to Auston, New York, London, and finally to The Shooting Gallery in San Francisco in April 2009. He also curates exhibits at his own gallery in New York City called Fuse.

Draw Show at The Shooting Gallery Draw Show at The Shooting Gallery in April 2009


Erik has always been just as involved in the nightlife scene as the art world. Fuse Gallery is connected to Lit Lounge, a bar/nightclub that serves as a meeting place for creative individuals. Devandra Banhart, Elliot Smith, and Moving Units are just a few from the venue’s “Bands Hoove Played” list. One needs only to scroll through the Lit Lounge pictures for an idea of the fun times going down. As Erik’s career was born out of bartending, his time spent at Lit Lounge supports his time in the studio.

Lit Lounge

© Lit Lounge


Erik Foss has shown in galleries and museums including White Box, Dietch, Jonathan Levine, The Contemporary Art Museum in Chicago, Collette in Paris and V1 Gallery in Denmark. He first showed at Gallery Three in November 2008, assembling a life size American flag from the drawings of San Francisco homeless (covered by Mr. Peacock here).

Erik Foss

Although not a self proclaimed photographer, we noticed that Foss also has a hefty collection of stills on his website.

Erik Foss

Erik Foss

Erik Foss

And of course, Erik is best known for his mixed media work. As stated in the press release for his upcoming show, Unseen on TV:

“Seemingly naïve perceptions of sex, religion and politics are represented in the form of collage, combined to form a disordered setting for Erik Foss’ new exhibition, Unseen on TV. This collection is fueled by a sociological deviance from American culture, while at the same time reflecting the cultures’ very ideals. Foss’ raw collages on distressed paper are an assembled collection of antique pornography and photographs, dating as late as the 1800s. Erotic cut out hearts cover the faces of stoic portraits, questioning the distinction between offensive vs. provocative or private vs. public concern. Manipulating American history and politics with fearful symmetries and collective despair, Foss dares to push the boundaries of relative understanding.”

Here are a few details from his new works to be shown at Gallery Three next Saturday.

Erik Foss

Erik Foss

Erik Foss

Hopefully this orientation has got you asking, what’s next? Come see Erik Foss’ Unseen on TV at Gallery Three on November 14th to find out.

Previous posts about Erik

Studio Visit with Erik Foss

Process Shots and New Works

Quick Interview with Foss