Animals take on a special meaning in San Francisco based artist Erika Sanada’s work, whose sculptures of cute “zombified” puppies, rats, and baby birds represent a sort of escapism from her anxiety. In an effort to embrace and defeat her demons, so to speak, Sanada created her “Odd Series”, which was featured on our blog back in August and in Hi-Fructose Vol. 31. Since that time, her sculptures have evolved into more positive displays of her characters, who often interact with eachother in playful chases and tug of wars. Sanada expands on her ongoing series with her solo exhibition, “Balancing Act”, now on view at Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art in Seattle. As the title may suggest, her creepy-cute cast of characters balance each other out as metaphors for the artists’ own emotions; the puppies symbolize the protagonist, or stand-in for the artist herself, while the rats and birds are usually the antagonists. For example, in Sanada’s world, rats are symbolic of obstacles or problems that she must be overcome, an idea which she reinforces with various visual puns of rats hanging off of her puppies’ ears and noses. Take a look at more works from “Balancing Act” below, on view at Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art alongside works by Calvin Ma through January 2nd, 2016.