Photo of an old fashioned car near an old sign that says Tally Ho
Tally Ho! San Pedro, Near Long Beach; From Floating World: Pacific Coast Highway portfolio, 2017; Archival digital prints

Meet the artists of the 2020 MCAD Faculty Biennial.

Floating World: Pacific Coast Highway is inspired by Katsushika Hokusai’s Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, Ando Hiroshige’s Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road, Ed Ruscha’s 1963 Twenty-six Gasoline Stations, and David Hockney’s 1980s Pop Art photo collages like Pearblossom Highway.

About Luke Erickson

Luke Erickson is a Minneapolis-based photographer who is focused on the borders of the natural landscape and the built environment. He is also interested in the broader social landscape and how it reflects how we live, what we build and consume, and what we value, now and in the past. He has been influenced by photographers Timothy O’Sullivan and Robert Adams, painters Thomas Cole and Ed Ruscha, filmmakers Akira Kurosawa and Jim Jarmusch, writers J. B. Jackson and Reyner Banham. 

Erikson examines the concept of personal impressions of place, ideas of what constitutes home, and the nominal concepts of a variety of natural and manmade geographies, including trails, pathways, borders, and journeys both real and imagined. He explores both natural and manmade landscapes, the transformation of the natural landscape, historic preservation, and how patterns of settlement have altered the landscape in ways that are observable and meaningful too.

He is also interested in the vernacular, the commonplace or everyday landscape, as a closer look at seemingly unremarkable views, often reveals more than first meets the eye, rewarding the observer with insight about the place and its inhabitants. Erickson is mindful that the natural and social landscape are in a state of constant change, of dynamic flux, as the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus once stated, “No man ever steps in the same river twice.” Indeed, the river and the man are most certainly different, materially and in mind, (or body and spirit). 

Erickson’s photographs are in many museum collections including: Autry Museum of the American West, Laguna Art Museum, University of Southern California Fisher Museum of Art, Crocker Art Museum, University of Redlands Peppers Art Gallery, Weisman Art Museum, Tweed Museum of Art, Minnesota Historical Society, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, and Cornell Museum of Fine Arts. He lived in Los Angeles for many years working as a set photographer and as a location scout on movie and television productions. While there he fell in love with the unique social landscape of Southern California, including the Los Angeles River, which he photographed extensively. Erikson received a 2016 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, which funded an exhibition of photographs, titled CONFLUENCE, an examination of the historic, economic and social importance of the geographical place where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet. Erickson earned a BA in art and art history from the University of Redlands and a MFA in the history of art from the University of Illinois, in Chicago with an emphasis on the history of photography. He teaches at the University of St. Thomas and MCAD.