Eric Sorenson Show Opens at DA ARTS

by on July 26, 2006

Dead End with a View,” the latest installation by outsider artist Eric Sorensen, is now open at DA ARTS at 6th and Minna Streets. Sorensen explores growing up in a family that includes of 4 generations of San Francisco Police Officers. The reality of power, authority, and control is set against the imagination and dreams of a child looking for an identity in a world beyond the badge.

The installation, held at the former district attorney’s office that has been transformed into an art gallery by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, includes paintings, sketches, and never-before displayed photographs of San Francisco police officers, can be viewed free of charge July 26 * August 31, 2006 at the DA ARTS (corner of Sixth and Minna, San Francisco).

Artist Statement:

My name is Eric Sorensen; I’m an outsider artist working in watercolors. I started painting seriously in 2002 after wrist surgery on my dominant right hand. After a few weeks of painting with my left hand it felt very natural, and now, despite a full recovery of my right wrist, I still use my left hand for most of my work.

My initial subject matter primarily consisted of old surf photos and magazines. Waves were always my favorite thing to draw on my school notebooks and are a great match for watercolors. I’ve found a look of motion and texture in watercolor that I haven’t found in other media. I avoid the traditional transparent look of watercolor in favor of deep, rich colors.

A turn in subject matter came when I was invited to paint a book cover for License to Harass by Dr. Laura Beth Nielsen. She asked for a threatening night-time street scene.

My teen years on the bus in San Francisco South of Market came to mind and served as the inspiration for the painting that eventually became the cover of the book, The Long Walk Home. San Francisco street scenes are still among my favorite subjects, as well as trees, fish, and waves, of course.

I look at my paintings as suggestions more than statements. I want the viewer to be caught and kept by filling in their own blanks, and finding their own meaning. I don’t want to spell it all out, and leave you nothing to find the next time you look. Learn more and visit my online gallery at

Filed under: Archive