Eric draws from his passion for nature in creating his minimalist, organic, sculptural works. For the past 7 years, he has been designing and fabricating out of his studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, using an assortment of bold “repurposed” and “industrial” sourced materials. Each of his pieces are truly unique because he highlights the richness of tones and textures embedded in the discerning material pallet of his projects.
Wishing to share his artistic passion, in 1999 Eric founded a community-based photography center, The Vermont Center for Photography, which still is an important part of the southern Vermont arts community. While living in Vermont, he also began working for international artist and designer Michael Singer. As a friend and lead fabricator for Singer’s large installations, he honed his micro sense to detail and was also encouraged to creatively branch out. This hatched the idea of merging his unique personal story into designing furniture and exploring sculpture.
He began by generating a list of descriptive words to use as guiding principles – words such as dynamic energy, organic elements, and clean intentional lines. In time he added words like rich, steeped, and time-marinated. The resulting synthesis is an aesthetic that truly encapsulates his vision. Slayton uses recognizable industrial materials such as thick steel plates including corten, large form cast concrete columns, and recovered structural wood blocks and planks. He combines these rough raw textures with more refined elements of polished bronze and cast aluminum, mirrored stainless steel, glass, and even animal hide.
The delicate balance between the “rough and refined” requires his skilled eye, and each decision about leaving or removing the materials random character is conscious and deliberate. The resulting pieces have an unassuming simplicity that is well described by a Japanese construct known as Wabi-Sabi, which roughly translates to “a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. At the end of the day Eric produces pieces that he is personally moved by. Feeling gratification in the unfolding stories that he creates and the personal growth that results from his mediations and practice. Slayton’s clients also tend to be driven by the same motivations and desire to surround themselves with an unassuming simplicity that is honest, thought provoking, and alive.