The landscape painting and the video As Above Is So Below (2008) were inspired by the artist’s travels to Israel. They portray snippets of cultivated nature, urban settlements, a vineyard between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Rather than depicting these places as theatres of war, Erik Schmidt turns his attention to the seemingly incidental: the grape harvest or a man up a tree picking olives. His landscapes form a stage for people at work, engaged in various activities.
The outlines of the figures depicted fuse almost entirely with the landscape; they are framed by thick foliage or merge with the details of the vineyard. As in most of Erik Schmidt’s paintings, the painted surface retains clearly visible traces of the artist’s working process: the creative act adds a further layer of content to the subject-matter depicted.