Redefine Magazine, Spring 2008
"Erica Steiner's amazingly detailed oil paintings serve as a merging point for many freestanding design styles. A heavy focus on nature and landscapes come into play, but don't expect any static paintings here. Steiner's works ripple with waves of decorated gold leaf, Victorian-inspired florals, nearly psychedelic coloring, and detailed ornamentation. Her newest paintings, shown here, are called Reverie: Meditations on an Ornamental World, and the name cannot be more suitable. "Whether this impulse is made manifest in the form of an everyday act like putting on jewelry, or in an overt act of ritual, such as the adornment of a religious icon with flower garlands, we as humans are ubiquitously driven to decorate our world, to sanctify it, and to beautify it with ornament," Steiner says, explaining the idea behind this body of work. Where Chinese and Japanese landscape painting, Tibetan Buddhist textiles, and medieval Catholic illumination manuscripts may sound a little dated, Steiner manages to incorporate these ancient, ornate styles into something refreshing for the modern age."