There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception. --Aldous Huxley
I am awed by the vast intricacies of the world we live in. With an ever-shifting and nebulous boundary between what is known and unknown, our limited understanding of life is constantly in flux. Phenomena that were once considered inexplicable or magical are continually redefined by scientific discovery. Creative and innovative thinking pushes the boundaries of what exists and what is accepted. The strange becomes familiar through the passage of time and the acquisition of knowledge. With this greater understanding, perceptions are altered. The collective consciousness expands, and paradigms shift as we begin to think about the world around us in new ways.
I build my installations from the idea that gallery walls can serve as symbolic thresholds between life and death, between what is known and unknown. Beyond the wall’s surface, mysterious and complex biomorphic forms coalesce within the structures of sacred geometry, while other forms expand and emerge into the physical realm of the viewer. Trompe l’oeil and sculptural paintings work in conjunction with actual light and shadow to spark a sense of wonder in the viewer. This creates a transformative experience as one’s perceptions shift with greater understanding of the relationship between artistic materials and exhibition space. The installations serve as a metaphor for the journey of our personal and shared life experiences. For me, these works also speak to the deep-rooted questions we have always faced in relation to the existence of the universe and our role in it.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Erika Lizée was raised among the lakes and trees of Northern Wisconsin. She traveled to North Carolina to earn her BFA in Painting from UNC Asheville in 1999. Following a cross-country move to California, she received her MFA in Painting from CSU Northridge, in 2007. In 2008, she was hired as full-time faculty at Moorpark College where she is currently a Professor of Art, as well as the Director of the Moorpark College Art Gallery. Ms. Lizée is an artist that creates site-specific installations, paintings and drawings. Most recently, Ms. Lizée built installations within the International Terminal at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), ArtShare LA, Launch LA and Gallery 825. Lizée’s work has been featured in Juxtapoz, Beautiful/Decay, HiFructose, The Huffington Post and Beautiful Bizarre magazines. She resides in West Hills, California, with her husband and two young children.