Erik Waterkotte believes that the narratives and rituals of human spirituality provide insight into our collective consciousness and illuminate the archetypes we hold on to.  Waterkotte is fascinated by religion and spirituality, and through his reading of Carl Jung, is inspired by the similarities found in disparate systems of belief across human history.  Waterkotte reasons that spirituality represents the highest form of human creativity.  


As an artist, Waterkotte deliberates a variety of spiritual structures to create artworks that are the relics, tapestries, and tabernacles of his own, hypothetical cathedral (a mystical architecture that speaks to the frailty of existence).  As a printmaker, Waterkotte’s approach to graphic media integrates photography, collage, and drawing.  For him, print is not a technique of reproduction but a technique of indirect markmaking for generating interstitial layers.  In his practice, printmaking becomes an act of transference and transformation.  Waterkotte combines a variety of print techniques, both complex and simple, with handmade papers in a kind of alchemy (i.e. screen-printing, monotype, rubbings, inkjet printing).  


Waterkotte’s artwork refers to religious icons and relics, and the transmutation of corporeality (e.g. paper as flesh, ink as a media of purulence).  Inspired and haunted by the extremes of his Catholic upbringing as well as his attraction to the esoteric and obscure, Waterkotte’s artwork is an amalgamation of his various studies and experiences.  Most recently, Waterkotte participated in a semester teaching abroad on a faculty exchange at the Akademia Sztuk Pięknych im. Eugeniusza Gepperta in Wrocław, Poland.  The historical influence of the Catholic church in Poland, its public traditions and the younger generations critical response, expanded his understanding of the Catholicism he was raised in but no longer practices.  Although he is not initiated in any particular spiritual practice, Waterkotte pursues an individual course of spiritual study, mining Western, Non-Western, Eastern, and esoteric practices.  His artwork expresses a personal occult that encourages mystical thinking and a viewer’s own spirituality.