In her series “Odd Things,” artist Erika Sanada makes ceramic animal sculptures that are a creepy combination of realistic and freakish. The carefully rendered dogs, squirrels, and other small animals are shown hairless and white-eyed, and often have extra limbs or eyes, or in some cases, tiny firearms.
According to Sanada, the sculptures are inspired by her anxieties:
My sculptural work explores my anxieties. Early childhood experiences drove me to doubt my self-esteem, developing into a state of worry and distress. To cope with these emotions, my parents gave me a dog and he became a great companion. I use the imagery of dogs in my work to represent the joy in life. However, underlying that happiness, I incorporate odd features into my dogs like extra teeth or ears to symbolize those lingering anxieties. Much like myself, my work is struggling to find a balance between joy and sorrow.
Sanada’s work was recently on display at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco.