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Eric Yahnker Biography

Eric Yahnker is a contemporary artist born in 1976 in Torrance, California. He studied journalism at the University of Southern California before earning his BFA at the California Institute of the Arts in 2000. During his second year at CalArts he worked on the storyboard for South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. After he graduated he drew and directed Seinimation, a series of short animated bonus features on DVDs of Seinfeld’s last four seasons.

Taking a maximalist approach to art making, Eric Yahnker employs elaborate metaphors and cultural commentaries in his monumental, irreverent charcoal and colored pencil drawings. Immediately appealing on their surfaces, Yahnker’s drawings convey deeper meanings to viewers who patiently engage with them. The artist begins his drawings as a series of words in a sketchbook, collaging ideas as much as images. The results are aggregations of witty, politically charged imagery, as in Cheese Slice on Garland (2012), which depicts a slice of pizza on a paper plate laid on a bed of roses. Yahnker has said that the pizza and flowers function as a memento mori, objects that, like humans, constantly inch closer to decomposition and death.

American, b. 1976

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