Eric Ondina received his BFA from Florida State University in 2013 and his MFA from the University of South Florida in 2019. Eric’s practice is based out of his studio in Ybor City, a lively historic section of Tampa, Florida. His approach to craft harkens back to early traditions of painting while his subject matter engages the contemporary moment. Eric exhibits locally and nationally, including most recently at The Ringling for the 2021 Skyway Exhibition and at the UCF and Rollins Art Museums for the 2022 Pathways Exhibition. He teaches art and design at Hillsborough Community College and the University of Tampa.
"Check," emulsion on canvas, 2021
"Nearer My God to Thee," 2021
"Hot Leather 3," emulsion on board, 2020
Fire and water are primary motifs of my work. These elemental forces fueled the industrial revolution through steam and now threaten to consume us on both ends as fires rage in the West and sea levels threaten low-lying communities in the East. The works included here draw conceptually and literally from the fires consuming the Pacific Northwest by using the imagery to represent our social malaise as we grapple with the forces of unyielding natural and political environments.
I create paintings from snapshots captured in spaces where social forces collide. I seek out the moments where contrasting visual elements and human values intersect, drawing inspiration from the reality I document and the media we consume. I strive to depict a society in the midst of its discontent, desperately trying to make sense of a destiny that often feels elusive, slipping beyond control and comprehension. In an era characterized by skepticism and doubt, I aim to challenge our shared understanding of truth through my art.
I paint with a unique recipe of egg tempera. Blending a viscous balsam, fossilized hard resins, egg yolk and water ingredients that are incompatible, but with pressure and patience, merge and form a harmonious whole. While my technique pays homage to traditional painting methods, my intention is to connect with the present moment, speaking directly to the soul of our current experiences through an organic style and topical subject matter.
more from Eric's perspective
Eric working in his studio.
My paintings are an invitation to contemplate the cycles of history framed by the lens of our time; a time of pervasive frustration, mistrust, and fear, but also boundless advancement, change, and opportunity.
I compose my paintings from snapshots collected from spaces experiencing a convergence of social forces. Often my paintings contain interpolations presenting an obvious pastiche, yet much of the most absurdist subject matter directly quotes from documented reality.