Erik Sommer | Artist and curator

Published on
February 25, 2021
erik sommer, contemporary art, sculpture, installations, urban decay, new york, curator, promoter, interview, feature, artist
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Erik Sommer | Eerie silences

Erik Sommer is an artist and curator based in New York whose work re-creates the cities beautiful decay. His cement installations simulate the feeling of that rough decaying texture of the city. He uses layers of acrylics, oils, gesso, cement dry wall plaster street posters and paint. Erik Sommer creates in a few months what nature needs years to achieve. Explore the world of this talent in our feature.

In collaboration with Munchies Art Club Magazine Erik shares with us, in our new series, his favorite art instagram accounts.

Who is Erik Sommer?

Erik Sommer is an artist, curator and founder of the Mott Project. Erik lives and works in New York City. His paintings, sculptures and cement installations are influenced by abandoned buildings, eroded stone and eerie silences.

cement, decay, decomposing, layer, nature, city, new york
Erik Sommer

In his work he attempts to capture and freeze the effects of time. 

We connected with Erik because not only are we fans of his work as an artist, but also respect his work as curator and as founder of the Mott Project, a space where he promotes fellow artists.

acrylic, oil, gesso, cement, rough, layers, original, texture
1 hour tooth whitening | Cement installation, on-site (dimensions variable)

Eriks story

I took an interest in art during college.

I have always been into music, and made a living as a musician for a few years after college, but around my early 20’s I realized the artist-alone-in-the-studio sensibility suited me much more than the musician-who-has-to-perform-at-9pm.

art people, featured, special, promotion, buy art online, viewing room
1 hour tooth whitening | Cement installation, on-site (dimensions variable)

I could return to it the next day to experience it again. So, when I turned 25 I decided to be a painter. 

My early interest in art was very much focused on painting, mostly because of the abstract expressionists.

art people, featured, special, promotion, buy art online, viewing room
Garbage bag | Cement installation, on-site (dimensions variable)

I spent a lot of time studying art, going to the library and reading everything I could about movements, artists, important pieces, and artist stories.

Pollock and de Kooning led me to Basquiat, with me still thinking that art equals a painting on a wall, until one day I saw a photograph of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Valley Curtain .

mott projects, curator, curated by, interview, story, read about, explore
Untitled (blue) | Detail

That totally changed everything for me, and allowed me to work large and not be confined to a canvas. 

I like to have numerous pieces going on at once.

In my studio at any given time there will be several canvases, some sculptures, and plans for new cement installations.

contemporary sculpture, installations, artworks, original unique, vase
Cocaine cowboys | Street posters and paint on canvas | 188 x 132cm

The installations are a little different in that they are created on-site, but everything else I work on in my studio. 

Mott Projects began in 2019 as a way to document and help promote my friends’ work.

vases, trees, forgotten, beautiful, curation, online art platform, spotlight
Vacuum | Cement installation, on-site (dimensions variable)

A lot of us have shown or been associated with Deli Grocery, an incredible space run by Paul Cooley in Brooklyn.

I used the Mott Projects moniker to help promote the exhibitions that were being shown there, but once it got a bit of traction I knew I wanted it to be more than just an Instagram feed.

contemporary emerging artwork, feature, special, news, read about, discover,
The candy store | Street posters and drywall on canvas | 92 cm x 92 cm

It now features 26 artist interviews, as well as monthly international exhibition news.

I toyed with allowing writers to submit work, an idea I still might come back to, but the next big step will be hosting 2 or 3 exhibitions per year. 

explore, young collectors, how to collect art, collecting, artworks, unique piece,
Volvo 240 | Cement installation, on-site (dimensions variable)

When younger artists reach out to me my advice is always to be patient and to remain true to themselves.

Success means different things to different people. Some artists are in it for the money and glory, while other artists just need to make art regardless if it sells.

My goal has always been to support myself through my art, and to find like minded people who get it and have similar tastes and goals.

original, online store, art platform, gallery, galleries, global, exhibition
The ice dream | Street posters and paint on canvas | 234 x 157cm

Instagram has been extremely useful in bringing together artists, with the flip side being that some artists are just chasing the ‘likes’.

The art world can be tricky and confusing and unbelievably fickle so a solid group of friends is a must.
private viewings, wall art, support budding, gifted, talent, international,
Kansas | Street posters and drywall on wood | 172cm x 122cm

Like most everything, I found that success came to me after I quit agonizing over it and just let it happen. 

I love living in the digital age. The internet is sort of my favorite thing, and like most everyone I am now on-line unless I am asleep.

fine arts, secluded, contemporary painting, drawings, zeichnungen
Umbrella | cement installation, on-site (dimensions variable)

I love having the world’s knowledge in my phone, and try not to take for granted that there are video tutorials for literally anything you want to learn.

I should mention that I was a librarian for 15 years, so this is probably just my geekiness showing through. 

organic, 2021, perspective, analogue, sculpture, tool, mixed media, aesthetic,
Caleb´s Green | Street posters and drywall on canvas | 92cm x 92cm

In short:

Erik Sommer 

b. 1978 Duluth, MN 

EXHIBITIONS 2020-2021:

A few things in the works that haven’t been announced yet. Stay tuned! 

Group: 2020 2020, The Finale – Warburton Galerie– New York

Pandemic Blowout – Plank Road – New York

Household Intimacies – PAD – New York 


overlooked, forgotten, beautiful, silent, reflection, decay, urban, cement

Untitled | Street poster painting on wood | 244cm x 120cm


Erik Sommer

Follow the artist on Instagram:

Big thank you to Erik for allowing us to feature him and his work, it was especially fun since he too features and promotes his artist friends.

Now it is his turn.

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