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Meet Eric Thaller

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Thaller.

Eric, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m a late bloomer so to speak. In some sense, my art career sideswiped a more traditional finance career. I don’t have the typical background of many artists. I did study studio art in college, but it wasn’t really my main focus. I was an Economics major. I never got a Masters in Fine Arts either. I never worked in a gallery or apprenticed for a well-established artist either. In fact, my post-graduate education was a business degree at the University of Pennsylvania. I was a finance nerd.

When I got out of college, I started working in the investment business. I did this for a long time but in 2012, I was incredibly disenchanted with my hedge fund job and I decided to quit. I traveled for a bit before focusing on art. The real push came when an acquaintance asked me about an Einstein portrait hanging on my living room wall. I told him that I was actually the artist. This was the proverbial light bulb moment. I realized that other people were intrigued by my work. He was my first client. I’ve been steadily producing work since.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I guess it depends on which road you’re talking about. Creating is truly a liberating outlet for me. I find making art is quite calming and I sometimes roll into a meditative-like state when creating. The process of making something I think is beautiful or carries an important message is deeply fulfilling. I simply love the creative process. And this has been a constant for me. I’ve honestly never felt a lack of motivation or inspiration to create. In this sense, it has been a very smooth road for me.

But on the other hand, it hasn’t always been easy. Figuring out how to make sure the work gets in front of people certainly has its challenges. And I’m still figuring it out. I’ve been nicely profiled in a few publications recently and had my first solo show last year. This was incredibly helpful. Now with the pandemic, things are very different again. But I’m working on some really exciting new pieces and eager to share soon.

Please tell us more about your art.
Some people think of themselves as painters. Others as sculptors. I just think of myself as an artist. I don’t want to be constrained by medium or style. My art is about creating dynamic visual encounters but also about creating something that lasts for more than just a fleeting moment in the mind of the audience. I think this notion is particularly relevant in today’s world where the velocity of information and content is really overwhelming and nothing seems to have any permanence. I’m trying to capture the attention of the viewer by sharing an experience that contains some form of surprise that challenges the viewer’s initial perspective. This other element could take the form of an unexpected medium or process, sometimes a hidden message or even a measure of humor.

In my series Rebirth of the Pixel, I created large works, mostly portraits, that from a distance look like black and white photos. However, when you get up close you realize that these pieces are simply made from Legos. Yes, I’m talking about the kid’s toy. I spent two years placing several hundred thousand Legos to create around 20 pieces. On some of these, if you look closely, you will see a second layer of Legos which takes the form of words – either clues about the underlying subject or a quote from the subject itself. In others, I have created an active QR code in the piece, also from Lego. If you scan the code with your mobile phone, it will take you to additional content related to the subject matter.

It is these unexpected elements that define my work. And in delivering these experiences, I’m quite proud to have taken on serious topics like homelessness, famine or even political leadership.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I could go back in time, I’d probably have started pursuing art at the beginning of my career. I initially followed an educational and career path that any mom and dad would be happy to see their son pursue. But with the benefit of hindsight, it is pretty clear to me that I should have followed my true passion earlier. I don’t think this is emphasized enough. Too many people are miserable doing what they do. With all that’s happening in 2020, I’ve found it only natural to reflect a bit more intensely on how I am living my life. And the lesson is loud and clear. Live with intent and passion.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 10815 Missouri Avenue, #301
    Los Angeles, CA 90025
  • Website:
  • Phone: 415 250 0959
  • Email: info@ericthaller
  • Instagram: ericthaller


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