Smiling Left, Right, and All Over

Eric Anthony Berdis

Derived from childhood fantasies Eric Anthony Berdis’ work explores the metamorphosis of a becoming. Set among plush objects and phallic faux-fur sculptures, Berdis transforms into a nonviolent homophobia fighting superhero. Their performance seeks to simulate the jarring experience of being stereotyped while simultaneously examining the ways we navigate towards and create safe spaces. Loud sequined materials are reassembled as uniforms for a dystopic queer world. Each object holds a peculiar function, none of which are to clothe the body or to cover uncomfortable truths. With unrelenting confrontation with the audience, they make the viewer a mirror, and forces one to reckon with their own reactions to what has been crafted as both a worst nightmare and best fantasy.

Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, they received their BFA from Slippery Rock University in 2013. In 2016, they were awarded the opportunity to study at Tyler School of Art in the Fibers & Material Studies Department, this opportunity changes the trajectory of his marking and career and he is grateful for that. Eric has gone on to receiving his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Eric has had solo exhibitions at Random Access Gallery, in Syracuse, New York, Practice Gallery Philadelphia, Bunker Projects, Pittsburgh and Project 1612 in Peoria, Illinois, and most recently the University Galleries at Illinois State University.

See more of Eric’s work at

Photos by Matthew Roberts (3-10)