Lake Minnetonka Artist Eric Pilhofer Pays Homage to Ancestral Spirituality

Eric Pilhofer is changing the ceramic game by playing to the strengths of his ancestral heritage. 

Eric Pilhofer can be found primarily shut in his studio using clay to express his perception of ancient spirituality, synth music gleefully playing in the background. 

Pilhofer has been an artist for his entire life. He's got experience in drawing, painting, metal sculpture, patchwork, and weaving. But, Pilhofer has chosen clay to be his preferred medium because it clashes all of his disciplinary loves into one messy package.

"Art isn’t what it chooses to be, but it is something that has to be,” he says. “If I don’t do it, my life is out of balance. It is more of a necessity than a choice.”  

Drawing his inspiration from history and archaeology, every piece of work that Pilhofer creates pays homage to ancestral spirituality. Directly referencing his Egyptian and Mesopotamian background, Pilhofer tries to express a deeper meaning, tell a more interesting story, and make people think differently about how they view hieroglyphic artwork. 

 “I am not a religious person, but I feel that you can capture a spirituality and a feeling in a piece of artwork,” he says. “Like it was done for a reason greater than the end result.”

By mashing ancient text techniques and ultramodern ceramic methods, Pilhofer combines two eras of artwork and shows that the creative human conscious hasn't changed that much over the course of a few thousand years. 

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