You may know his work from a lot of different places. Perhaps you caught it during the recent X-Games at U.S. Bank Stadium? Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to see it on display at the San Diego Museum of Art? Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve happened to catch his work woven into a local metro area chain link fence that you happen to pass by during the course of your general day to day. No matter where you may have seen the work of Emmy Award winning artist, Eric Rieger, he has now teamed up with the folks over at the Mall of America to put up his largest and most challenging installation yet.
The installation, titled “Hot Lunch”, is set to include over 721 pounds of yarn in 103 different colors and will hang in the Atrium at MOA’s new north entrance. According to Rieger, the piece draws inspiration from his assistant, Lynn, who also works as a school lunch aid. Rieger’s own childhood memories of difficulties during high school lunch periods helped to create a personal connection to Lynn and her story.
Work began on the piece last weekend and interested mall-goers can watch as Reiger continues to construct the installation over a 10 day period which is expected to reach completion by August 2nd.
Reiger, a Minnesota native from New Ulm, takes his inspiration from his grandmother who taught him how to knit at an early age. His knit work progressed into the world of typography when he began weaving his signature HOTTEA tag into chain link fences resulting in a very unique and modern form of street art. Since then, Reiger has completed over 70 large scale installations and he’s collaborated on projects for Sesame Street, New York Fashion Week, and he’s been invited to showcase his work across the globe at a variety of high profile locals including North America, London, Berlin, Sao Paulo and Sydney.
“The foundation behind my work is to use existing infrastructure and create an artwork or idea that is in harmony within the given space,” Rieger said. “I want to give as many people as possible an opportunity to experience spaces in new ways. I want to evoke feelings of happiness and awe. Working with Mall of America on this piece gives me an opportunity to do just that.”
“Integrating art into our space is key as we continue to evolve the shopping experience for our visitors,” said Jill Renslow, senior vice president of marketing and business development. “Collaborating with such a renowned artist who also calls the Twin Cities home is a huge honor and an excellent foray into partnering with local artists.”
The completed work will be on display from Tuesday, August 2nd until October.