03.09.20 → 17.10.20
They come as seven.
You know their names.
You practice them, even.
“With total innocence…”
You cannot stop yourself.
From loving them, despite yourself
Your 7 sins…
Eric Croes presents his vision of the 7 cardinal sins: 7 unique sculptures, 7 fantastical totems, 7 unsettling presences. A tribe, stripped of all moral criticism, of all condemnation. No censure, no judgement. On the contrary, his liberated vision encourages the imagination.
Before us, Eric Croes transforms the sins into colorful presences, animal and human, primitive and modern, droll and provocative, tender and ironical. As he describes them, the sins make up a new personal mythology: “In my conception, gluttony takes the form of a bit of crockery; pride the form of more or less gigantic kings looking each other up and down; greed's head is a piggybank bud vase and its body a closed fist; envy is a four-eyed cat eying a parrot who is himself coveting a ring shaped like a peanut; wrath is a sulking couple with Janus's head, resting on the foot of Mars, god of war; lust is a half-male, half-female totem, lasciviously offered up to go to bed; and sloth is a large green head sleeping on a napping tortoise”
In seven totems, Eric Croes revives the myths and symbols associated with our “small greatest flaws.” Behind each detail hides a legend, a superstition which Croes exalts and gives new life to: the eighteenth-century language of flowers, the medieval bestiary, the specters of gargoyles, tarot cards... Croes is an investigator who turns up lost vestiges and blends influences, forgotten stories, and dormant tales to sculpt unique forms: sins at human scale. He transforms them into energetic and affectionate guardian monsters who writhe overhead, like the Japanese Yōkai or the avatars of Hieronymous Bosch.
These seven malevolent genies, tempters, and imps are overseen by an eighth presence: the Witness. An invention of Croes's, the Witness is a guardian of the sins. He reminds us of our shared condition: that we all of us have a secret taste for some of our nasty flaws. Eric Croes helps us to accept them. Even better: to make them our allies.
— Boris Bergmann
Eric Croes (b. 1978, Belgium) lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. His work has been the subject of numerous solo presentations including exhibitions at Richard Heller – Los Angeles, VNH Gallery – Paris, Sorry We're Closed – Brussels. He is included in several institutional collections including : Le Vent des Forêts – Lorraine, Le Musée Nationale de la Céramique – Sévres, Le Voyage à Nantes – Nantes (FR) and ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center – Tempe Arizone (USA)