The Studio of Eric Valosin

Thursday, May 30, 2013

One Week until MFA Thesis Exhibit! JUNE 6th

Montclair State University MFA Thesis Show 2013


Montclair State University is pleased to announce This Show Means Right Now, the 2013 MFA Thesis Exhibition. The exhibition will be on view at Magnan Metz Gallery in Chelsea, New York from June 6th to June 22th.

Please join us for the opening on Thursday June 6th from 6-8 pm. Magnan Metz Gallery is located at 261 W. 26th Street, New York, NY.

The exhibition is curated by the MFA's 2012-13 visiting critic Matthew Nichols.

Featuring works by:

Jay Roth Header - Eric Valosin Header- Marta Kepka Header - Jamie Levine Header - John Viggiano Header - Aneta Wegrzyn Header - Kevin McCaffrey Header - Flávia Berindoague Header - Ronit Levin Delgado Header - April Zanne Johnson Header - E. Dannielle Slaughter Header

"The curious title of this show conveys a sense of urgency. Its assertive immediacy is reinforced by the partial strikethrough, which already casts the exhibition into the past. Blink and you’ll miss it. Indeed, when one considers the years of hard work and anticipation that precede it, the lifespan of an MFA show is exquisitely short. In just a few weeks this gallery will be vacated, the works will be dismantled and dispersed, and these eleven artists will be newly minted MFA graduates, cut loose from a curriculum to plot their next creative moves in the world.

But by privileging the passing moment over the exhibition itself, I think these artists are giving typographic form to their optimism. I suspect this show means right now because they view it less as an end point and more like a caesura in their unfolding lives as artists. As the current visiting critic at Montclair State University, it has been my pleasure and privilege to witness a crucial phase of this evolution. I have thoroughly enjoyed my weekly visits to their studios, our classroom discussions of texts and ideas, and the lively and probing debates about each artist’s work. This group has impressed me with their sharp minds, honest exchanges of criticism, and the mixture of industry and risk that has propelled their work forward."

- Matthew Nichols.

Further Information

Montclair State University MFA Studio Arts

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Studio Art is a 60-credit program designed to prepare students for careers as practicing professional artists located 13 miles from NYC. Comprised of a diverse group of students who share in a vision to explore, synthesize, innovate and create, the rigorous MFA program is a full-time two-year in-residence program that fosters opportunities for critical discourse in an environment where individuals can collaborate or work independently and make meaningful contributions to contemporary culture.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Jack of all Trades, but a Master of... ONE, now!

It's been quite a ride, ladies and gentlemen of cyberspace, but it's official: I have mastered the Fine Arts, according to Montclair State University! I'm still quite curious about the "privileges, rights, duties and immunities thereunto appertaining" that the president of the university mentioned upon conferment... What am I immune from? Can I be immune from sleep deprivation? Or maybe technological glitches? Hopefully it's something good. All that's left now is the thesis show (shameless plug) on June 6th at Magnan Metz Gallery. I think that counts under privileges. Or maybe duties...

But get ready for a proud, sappy, and nostalgic post. I think I've earned it.

5 of the 11 MFA grads with our fearless leader, Andrew Atkinson, director of the program

I look back at my first post in November of 2011 and am reminded of just how radically I've grown as a result of this grueling program. From having absolutely no idea what I'm doing merging theology and art, resigning myself to the meagre and misguided goal of making "Christian art that doesn't make you want to throw up," (as my artist statement actually used to say) it's hard to believe that I've now published a book on the topic (...of christianity and art, not the topic of throwing up). Through many anxious days and nights, I've come to a thesis that has begun a relevant and successful investigation of spiritual experience through art, surprisingly aligned with the course set out in a very telling early post.

These last two years have been the most difficult years of my life, without question. A 60 credit program, a studio practice, 20 hours a week working at Trader Joe's, 13 hours of commuting each week, not to mention a family... at one point, out of curiosity I kept a record of hours worked, and on that occasion found that I had worked 108 hours that week. But I can't help but swell a bit when I think about the cool things I've done in those two years.

I've had the opportunity to cross of more than a couple bucket list items, thanks to this program.
Some highlights:

  • In the last 2 years I've had artwork in 20 shows and counting, including showing in Chelsea, and in Wales (Prior to grad school I had never shown my work in a gallery other than school related shows.)
  • Published a book on Art and Spirituality (my monograph, Unknowing the Unknowable: Visual Apophasis and the Techno-Sublime)
  • Studied philosophy to the extent that I can now confuse people with what seems to me to be a perfectly logical sentence... (and hold my own interviewing a philosopher)
  • Gained a working knowledge of HTML and Javascript, as well as Final Cut Express, Max/MSP/Jitter, and a much higher competency in Photoshop and InDesign
  • Started a website and a blog (surprise!)
  • Went from critique sheets that say "high school surrealism" to ones that say "other students take note: this is how you make art and this is how you handle a critique."
  • Built a fantastic network of amazing artists, curators, and thinkers, as well as friendships I will probably keep forever
And outside of the MFA:
  • Lined up opportunities to teach at the Collective Art Tank in Asbury Park, as well as with Gravity, Inc. for which I am now the Coordinator of Fine Art Initiatives, doing community revitalization through the arts and innovation
  • Sung at Carnegie Hall (for the second time, believe it or not!)
  • Was asked by to do two design projects for Trader Joe's corporate office (big potatoes for us local store artists) and to head up mural design for the expansion of our store
  • Preached a guest sermon about worship and the arts
Not to mention:
  • maintained a marriage
  • oh, by the way, had a baby!
I owe an incomprehensible amount to Iain Kerr's tenacity and support in studio visit after studio visit of unloading his brilliance on me and never giving up belief that I could eventually make something of it for myself. And to Andrew Atkinson, the director, for his dedication to us and the program. The summer research class the two of them led was very much the turning point in my practice, teaching me what art really is.

I'd like to say the time flew by, but really it seems like a lifetime. Hard to remember time before MSU. But I have that program to thank for taking a kid who made art and turning him into an artist. I wouldn't give these last two years away for anything. ...Just please don't ever make me do them again!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fresh Meat/Young Blood: New Jersey's New Masters

Another Upcoming Show I'm in (it's getting to be a busy time of year!):

10th Annual Fresh Meat/Young Blood

My cohort John Vigg and I will be representing MSU in this show of new MFA grads. I'll be showing my Cosmos on Gray series of erasure drawings.
Check out the press release for more info!

I hope you can make it out to the opening:
June 9th
Arts Guild NJ, 1670 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ


Also... Don't forget This Show Means Right Now, MSU's MFA thesis show, will be earlier later that week in Chelsea! Here's the scoop, to save some digging!

Hope to see you there!

Unknowing the Unknowable: Visual Apophasis and the Techno-Sublime

EDIT: With the release of a second edition, this page is now defunct. 
Please visit its new home at: 

Unknowing the Unknowable:
Visual Apophasis and the Techno-Sublime

A New Artist Monograph by Eric Valosin, 2013

Now available for purchase below!


Print Version


Click above to complete your purchase at the Lulu Marketplace.

--------------------------------------------------- OR ---------------------------------------------------

Digital Version
(Interactive PDF)

Click above to complete your purchase via Paypal

Note: Upon completion of payment, the artist will be notified and you will receive your PDF version via Email.
Think of it as being hand delivered: In most cases you will receive the file within 24 hours but please allow 4 days before  you start to worry. If you still have not received an email by that time, please email eric@ericvalosin.com.



A monograph of the work of artist Eric Valosin. Using light and projection with painting, drawing, and new media, his work carves out a new territory for mystical experience in a contemporary context. Can we hope for a resurrection scene after its been curtains for Nietzsche's God? Can we hear echoes of Eckhart in a world whose space is more often cyber than sacred? This book dives into the world opened by Valosin's art, featuring images, writing, and interviews that explore the terrain of this new paradigm.

Like the artist's work itself, the book merges the digital and analogue worlds, expanding outward into cyberspace via QR codes. A digital version (interactive PDF) is also available.

Physical Description:

Print Version:
Paperback Book with QR code hyperlinks
Size: 9"wide x 7"tall 
Pages: 91, Full Color

Digital Version:
Interactive PDF with internal/external hyperlinks; QR codes converted to clickable buttons
Size: 12.7 MB
Pages: 93


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Circles and the Cosmos

A few notes of housekeeping:

1) I've been maintaining my ritualized practice of Circle making, using my custom cyclical rear-projection table. Here's a link to a directory of all the circle drawings that emerge from this practice, which I'll be updating periodically. My goal of making a circle each week has been put on hold for a bit while I order more supplies and sort out this whole graduation/moving studios thing...

2) On that note, I'M GRADUATING AND MOVING STUDIOS! Look for another very sappy and retrospective post on that soon, but tomorrow I will be officially receiving my diploma from Montclair State University for completing a Master of Fine Arts.

3) In light of that, coming up in a few weeks will be the openings of a show at the Arts Guild NJ in Rahway featuring some of NJ's new MFA grads called Fresh Meat/Young Blood (June 2, 1-4pm), as well as my THESIS SHOW entitled This Show Means Right Now, in Chelsea at Magnan Metz (June 6, 6-8pm)

4) Finally, my brand new artist monograph, a 91 page self-published book will very soon be available in both print and digital versions! more details coming soon (does anyone else smell a bunch of posts coming?)

And now down to business:

It's past due that I post about a series of drawings I've started on 18% Gray Cards. Gray Cards are the tools used by photographers to literally balance the digital and analogue worlds, so I thought it would be a fitting support for cosmological drawings that hang in the balance between those worlds. The first in the series deconstruct the cosmological forms in traditional mandalas, which have floated throughout a lot of my work lately, using only erasure as a markmaking tool:

The second group within this series has been giving me more difficulty. My professor, Nancy Goldring, suggested to me waiting to see what I see in the gray card before starting. I did, and what I immediately saw were the flaws and imperfections of the card. I thought that was perfect for a relational theology of grace, so I started with that and began concentrically outlining each imperfection. Where they intersected inevitably created new negative spaces, which I then filled in. I then connected each of the centers of these new spaces with each other, to create a sort of sacred geometry - a naturally occurring, somewhat implausible form that arose from the negative space that lies at the intersections of imperfection. A sort of relational systems theory of grace. 

It seemed a bit far afield from from the visual vocabulary of nothingness I've been developing in my other works however, so I gave a second try, this time replacing the graphite concentric outlines with impressions made with a dead ballpoint pen, filling in the negative spaces with erasure rather than graphite, and then adding the geometric lines with graphite rather than the bolder pen.

It still ended up a bit more "bushwick geometric abstraction 101" that I would have liked, to quote another professor, who proposed that the erased negative space might be enough of a geometry on its own, and that maybe the flaws would even triangulate themselves from that without the concentric lines. So I tried moving the whole process to a layer of tracing paper, leaving only the erased forms:

Interesting, but I don't think the imperfections actually show up at all and it ends up being maybe too arcane seeming. So I went back to the complete process, but stopping at the erasure:

I'm not sure what I think, but that's where I've left off... Any suggestions, internet world?

Here they all are as I presented them for my final exam, along with Gnomon in my studio:

Much more to come soon!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Traffic Cones in Chelsea

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to a silent viewing of Erik Sanner's talking traffic cone pieces in the show Urbane Decay at the Tria Gallery in Chelsea

The cones in the show would verbally persuade or dissuade you from drawing/erasing on their chalkboard and dry erase surfaces. They were great pieces, reaching beyond their initial playfulness to conjure up some real heavy issues like the ethics of respect, aesthetics and viewership, and posthumanism or thing theory. Nice job Erik!

Of course, no cone related day would be complete without a traffic cone viewing tour led by the master cone aesthete himself!

Thanks Erik for the invite to a great event!


Last night I created my next projection negation piece, an installation called Gnomon, which will be present in my final MFA critique ever next week! With what I had learned in the install for UnKnowledge, I was able to streamline my process enough to do what took me about a month's worth of Thursdays and Fridays at the Walsh Gallery in only one (very long) day! This bodes well for my upcoming thesis show install at Magnan Metz, for which I have only 3 days of install time to making more painting disappear.

studio panorama: projecting the image, masking it off to paint on the wall, then calibrating the projected colors.
Gnomon takes the optical negation one step further than UnKnowledge did, projecting into a mirror at the opposite end of the installation.

projecting into the mirror
The name of the piece tells the story of its inspiration: A gnomon is the vertical part of a sundial that casts the shadow. In ancient Greek however, the word gnomon means "one that discerns" or "that which reveals." A shadow caster that discerns and reveals... seems very Heideggerian! I thought it was a perfect starting point for the projection negation project in which your shadow, in obstructing the beam of the projector, actually reveals the painting underneath.

Additionally, because of the shape of a sundial's gnomon, Euclid began using the word gnomon to mean the subtraction of a parallelogram from a larger, similar parallelogram, resulting in a fracturing/fragmenting of form. This was the basis for my imagery, beginning with a square and gnomonizing it until it becomes a fractured, multiplicitous design reminiscent of some of the mandala imagery I've been using.

the "gnomonized" square image

The fractured multiplicity within the image then reinforced in the viewer's shadow. The projected image is reflected off of a mirror on its way to the wall, creating multiple beams for the viewer's body to obstruct, resulting in two viewer shadows of differing sizes. The image itself is then also multiplied and fractured yet again by showing up on the wall, in the mirror, and on the surface of the mirror itself.  

Ultimately I see this installation as a prototype for something bigger and far more disorienting, using many mirrors. But I had to start somewhere :-)