Artist Eric Rieger, aka HOTTEA, gathers loose threads to make monumental installations. Using seemingly countless strings, the pieces hang from ceilings and envelop the spaces they’re in with fields of vibrant hues—all of which seemingly have a mind of their own. Each thread is untethered and able to freely move with a passing breeze.
The installations are a site-specific endeavor and are often informed by HOTTEA’s own experiences, memories, or associations with a place. One such piece is titled Strangers, which the artist arrived at after reflecting on the kindness of people during his to Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where the 100-feet-long and 30-feet-wide installation was created. “The word ‘Stranger’ often times has a negative connotation,” he writes. “I titled this installation STRANGERS because I liked the idea of referring to a stranger as a positive thing.”
During the trip, three airport employees in São Paulo helped him and his team get back on track after missing a flight to Belo Horizonte. Then, a driver waited four hours for them to arrive from their flight. “We then went on-site and met Raquel,” HOTTEA recalls. “At first she was a stranger but very quickly became a huge positive impact on our trip. She translated, directed, observed, taught, and was patient.”
It didn’t end there, and each person the artist encountered helped make the installation in Brazil a memorable one. Knowing this, the title is fitting; the hues surround the viewer in a brilliantly colored atmosphere that leaves them feeling better after they saw it.
Scroll down to see more of Strangers and other recent works by HOTTEA.