It can only be described as a bacchanal: wailing and dancing, leaping over the camera, striking ritualistic poses and letting their freak flags (and other appendages) fly. Taken, as they are, from an ant’s eye view and backlit by the dappled sunlight overhead, the photos transform the players into towering silhouettes—gods and giants, archetypes whose rites invoke a sense of mystery.
Richard Speer, Willamette Week, May 2003
The tongue-in-cheek Bang Comics! project features Palmer and other subjects photographed as superheroes, though not in the conventional sense. Shunning capes and masks and situations where the subjects are leaping tall buildings at a single bound, Palmer has photographed naked torsos and writhing thighs and legs. The agile bodies usually are captured in a forest setting: the sun blazing between the scissor spaces of legs and arms, they look like they’re streaking through the woods… Most of his pictures have a subtle erotic charge – the frisson of watching sinuous, lean, graceful bodies.
D.K. Rowe, The Oregonian, July 2003
Erik Palmer, a photographer of all things, gives the Oregon Biennial its most activated physical presence with his Bang Comics! photos… A handful of the best choices (including James Lavadour, Erinn Kennedy, Palmer and Amanda Wojick) demonstrate an up-to-date savvy, one where philosophy is complicated by physicality.
Jeff Jahn, NWdrizzle.com, July 2003
Palmer has used popular culture to develop a series of satirical photo-based books about the daily lives of superheroes, and the stressful paradoxes these costumed crusaders must face… reproduced as digital photographic prints, the works have an impressive presence that reinforces their cinematic references.
Bruce Guenther, Chief Curator, Portland Art Museum, Oregon Biennial Catalog, 2003
Praised by art critics for The Oregonian, Willamette Week, NWDrizzle.com, Just Out and other local and regional publications, Erik Palmer’s Bang Comics! superhero portraits were counted among the highlights of the Oregon Biennial in 2003. Selected images have also been exhibited at SoundVision Gallery, Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery, Mark Woolley Gallery, Pushdot Studio and the Center for Photographic Art.
Selected prints of his portraiture are held by numerous private and institutional collectors, including Portland Art Museum, Whatcom Museum of History and Art (Bellingham, WA) and the Harry Ransom Center for Humanities Research at the University of Texas.
He currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Emerging Media & Digital Art program at Southern Oregon University.