At a young age, it was instilled in Erik Schubert that the mythology of Dale Carnegie’s classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People was one that predicted success and happiness in life. The book was widely published and accepted by business people and corporate planners all over the world, including Schubert’s father. Borrowing this infamous title as the starting point for his first artist book, Schubert considers how our appetite for success shapes our visual world. His photographs depict lonely interiors, defective products, and studies of ephemera culled from expositions, infomercial sets, and the family home. Schubert’s photographic exploration of the corporate vernacular elicits a dark humor, of fruitless desperation. Pre-packaged business attire, scuffed carpets, and uncanny corporate tableaus paint a portrait of an underlying irony — a world built on reputation and charisma, at the edges of catastrophe.
Erik Schubert (b. 1980, Omaha, NE) received his MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and his BFA from Columbia College, Chicago. Schubert has taught photography at MassArt, Greenfield Community College, and currently teaches at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Schubert has been in several exhibitions throughout the United States including Boston Young Contemporaries, SPECTRA: National Photography Triennialand the Photographic Resource Center NEO Emerging Artist. Schubert was included in On the Road: A Legacy of Walker Evans exhibition at the Robert Lehman Art Center and the Flash Forward Festival. Schubert is represented by Panopticon Gallery in Boston, MA. How to Win Friends and Influence People (Lavalette, 2013) is Schubert’s first artist book.