Eric Rieger is an artist who primarily works with yarn, aerosol-spray, and stencils. Currently creating under the name HOT TEA, his work consists of non-destructive installations that mostly exist on the street.
Following high school, Rieger's teachers encouraged him to move to the Twin Cities to get to know people in the arts community. After briefly attending a for-profit art school and being unhappy with it—"they taught a lot about specific tools, but nothing about composition, concept, or ideation"—he did his research and found out that MCAD was one of the best art and design colleges around.
The research did Rieger some good; he loved his time at MCAD, where he studied graphic design and found a strong passion for installation work. Not long after graduating, HOT TEA took off. Some of his most notable works include:
- A Google-commissioned installation for an NYC event
- The installation "RITUALS" on Brooklyn's Williamsburg Bridge, highlighted by New York Magazine
- A profile by clothing/lifestyle company the Hundreds
- A commercial for Converse filmed in Berlin
- A commissioned piece and video for tee shirt company Threadless
"Prior to MCAD, I saw my future self as a graphic designer. One semester, I took How Ideas Are Made, a class taught and created by Piotr Szychalski. It was in that class I found my love for installation. After that, I started taking installation classes with Brad Jirka. Ever since, I have been mixing graphic design, fine art, and film with installation. Without Piotr's class my path may have been very different."