Erik "Duvalin Papi" Herrera
Born and raised in San Diego, Ca., in a Mexican-American household, Erik found himself honing a selection of artistic abilities after arriving home from school nearly everyday during childhood. With early help from his father, guitar and drawing were quick and accessible mediums that came easy for him to learn and develop over time. Throughout childhood, Erik’s surroundings were inescapably saturated with multicultural extremes. Growing up alongside refugees, immigrants, different races, and people of various religious backgrounds, San Diego taught him just how unique, and sometimes incompatible, we're all from one another.
At age 11, Erik began to learn how to play the tenor saxophone and drums in middle school, under the direction from his music teacher, Ms. Skinner, who was thankfully strict and a really great teacher. In the following year, his father taught him three chords on the guitar. From these three chords he would gradually develop his personal style through many years of trial and error. During his formative years and early adulthood, he played in a few rock bands and many creative collaborations with other artists, wherein he learned to play a variety of instruments (acoustic, electric, and digital). These experiences enabled Erik to dedicate his musical skills to become a music producer.
Some of his latest works involve creating/performing live music for the large-scale performance art showcase 'The People's Opera House', photographing the street level performance art series of Tony Allard’s ‘Heckity’, debuting his first self published photo book titled Beast County, collaborating with collage artist Monica Leal Cueva, and continuing to grow his body of photographic work.
Since 2009, I have dedicated most of my days to the medium of photography. Nothing else is like it because it is incapable of lying. In the process of exploring photography, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting other great artists along the way. I met Tony Allard M.A. in 2012, an ‘elder’ artist who has been mentoring me through the ever-expanding field of the art world. 2016 brought Mexican-born artist Monica Leal Cueva into my world—a second mentor whose additional guidance continues to further my understanding about the world that is always available to me as artist.
“Aspirations for my art are to show anyone that life is truly connected to all. We all see (and unsee) the same light that shapes our dreams, fears, wants, needs…our true self. I share myself in every photo, but I still have the habit of hiding my true intentions with the work I produce...they're in there somewhere.”