Andrew Anderson

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Final Project Statement: 

The only way you’d know my work was a part of this display is…well, that’s just it, you wouldn’t know. “

“The design was a copy, and with someone else’s name signed to it. I was devastated.”

These included claims for: “damage to their honor and reputation and for their humiliation, mental anguish, embarrassment, stress and anxiety, loss of self-esteem, self confidence, personal dignity, shock, emotional distress, inconvenience, emotion pain [sic] and and suffering and any other physical and mental injuries Plaintiffs suffered due to Defendants improper conduct pursuant to VARA and the common law.”

There are those who make a practice of not asking.”

Every time someone posts my picture without credit, my work loses value. It will sell for much less by the agency that represents me, it’ll give me less revenue. And to know that some people make money off my work, gain popularity and fame over my work — when I’m counting the pennies to make ends meet, is unbelievably frustrating.”

The copyright itself has become a subject for artists. It’s a fundamental condition for making art in a way we’ve never seen before.”

“Q. Were you trying to create anything with a new meaning or a new message? A. No.”

Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

Thesis Statement:

My work as a whole revolves around a single central and basic theme, which is the importance of human sensuality and the immediacy of the physical world above all things. When you take a single step, or rest your face on a pillow, or touch a cool, damp wall in a basement, you receive information in a way that simply cannot be expressed in quotidian language. The awareness of interacting with your environment in a purely physical way also begins to seep into the way you look at the world. You become more observant, more curious.

However, the most important aspect of the human sensual experience is the interaction with other people. The most effective communication is touch. Touching someone, being touched, this is the most effective way of connection in our short period of mortality. The immediacy of being unseparated, by space or clothing or fear, creates a dynamic tension that I feel the need to explore. The body is a complex landscape, a map that reflects the person within. But the body is not simply a lantern with the candle of a soul flickering through the glass. Consciousness and physicality are intrinsically inseparable, from the most basic physical process of replenishing your red blood cells of oxygen by breathing to the most powerful emotions that cause you to sweat, shake, cry, scream. Without the physical sensation from the world around you and without allowing yourself to fully process the emotional impact that results from interacting with it, the consciousness is simply an abstract concept, floating in the realm of a heaven or hell that may not truly exist.

This subject matter has been worked on in painting for the entirety of known history. The cave paintings discovered in Lascaux, France, included handprints. The application of paint with your hands as a conceptual idea is the exploration of human physicality and its potential impact on a space. The relationship between consciousness and the form of the body and its actions have been explored in countless other works since then, by Michelangelo, Rodin, and so on.

In my paintings I attempt to include this tension, this immediacy. In my portraits, a central theme is the way the application of paint reflects a person physically. The very nature of paint as a physical substance can be a parallel to the sensual experience. Working with the paint alla prima creates a malleability of image which I explore every time I apply the brush to the canvas. Working wet on wet is also a way to express the temporal nature of the sensual human experience. At some point, the paint will dry, the oil will begin to eat away at the ground, the body will decay, and time will move forward. It’s a good thing.

The concept of time and the exploration of what permanence means is another subject I have been exploring recently. If you’re viewing your body as the primary way to experience your life, then your skin is a map of the place or places that you live. You can permanently alter this fleshy map, purposefully with a tattoo, accidentally with a scar. But there is a larger meaning of time than just the way that humans can perceive it. Time cannot be judged by whether you see the sun or not, whether you’re hungry or not, but the rate that a mountain sinks into the earth, or the stone cave floor absorbs water. A scar will eventually fade and a tattoo will disappear, the only choice is whether it happens between life or death. Every time you depict a human body, you depict mortality. My work evolved from a concentration in traditional methods and philosophy, being the importance of drawing and observational accuracy. My interest in art history also influences the subject matter, leading to a classical approach to imagery and symbolism that mixes with my own contemporary view. I am also influenced by my surroundings, leading to the integration of landscape and architectural detail drawn from life. The body of work that I have developed in the past year have all been combinations and reflections on my love for traditional method, my interest in history, and my contemporary outlook on the sensual human life experience.

Mid-Term Project: 
The Artist in Transit: 

Traveling isn’t always easy. For a student, it’s tough to find the time, and for an art student, it’s tougher to find the money. However, when you’re afforded with the opportunity to fly across the Atlantic and live in Italy for an extended length of time, you’d better find a way to make the best of it.

That’s how I felt glaring down the month long winter break during my time at the Siena Art Institute. How could I travel the cheapest? How could I make the most of my limited time and even more limited funds? And maybe most importantly, how could I continue to make work during my period of (realistically) homelessness?

An example of my typical lodging during my trip. Athens, Greece

I’m a painter by training, someone who is always drawing in his sketchbook. But for my trip I was limited. No longer did I have the grand studio in the historic Siena Art Institute building, with huge white walls just begging for work to be taped, stapled, or nailed into them. I simply had a camping backpack with a week’s worth of clothes and my sketchbook.

I met an artist in residence at the Siena Art Institute, a Greek man named Alexandros Georgiou. He has made his entire practice one of travel, simply taking photos, drawing on them, and writing on them, transforming an experience into a postcard. It’s beautifully humble work, but there is an air of seriousness about it. Simply writing a “hello, thinking about you in Naples” is just not enough. His practice is incredibly focused, and it shows.

I decided to apply this philosophy to my own work. Yes, all I had was a pocket sized travel sketchbook and whatever I could pick up off the ground to draw with, but that shouldn’t stop me from applying myself and making a serious drawing. After all, traveling through Italy and Greece, Spain and France, even a stop in Berlin… I’d be surrounding myself with works of art and it’s so important to learn and respond. Once I got over the fact that standing and drawing for two hours in a public museum may draw some strange looks and comments, I fell into the swing. I was able to practice, and I transformed that little sketchbook into an artwork in itself, intentionally.

Tuning out the shutter sounds in the Vatican museums, one of the several times I made a study of the Belvedere torso

Traveling to Siena has been a learning experience for me, the most important of the lessons being adaptability. I’ve learned to live in a new place. I’ve learned to work with new materials, in unfamiliar territory. I’ve learned to be comfortable sleeping on three couch cuscions with a sheet draped over them!

You can always practice. You can always work and create. When you make a serious effort every day, it’s no longer a matter of motivation, but scheduling.

And it helps when you’re satisfied with the results!

Spring 2017 semester Intro Unit:
Tempo Zulu Project Response
The term Tempo Zulu refers to this idea of universal time, Coordinated Universal Time to be more exact (in English.) While traveling, I often find myself disoriented, maybe confused or asleep or awake at inappropriate hours, due to moving through time zones. But there is a duality to the idea of time. There is the idea of time as a human construct, as in it’s fifteen until five o’clock in New York and fifteen until eleven in Siena. That’s the idea of counting time, of basing time on human perception of day and night, light and dark, hunger thirst and sleep. But there is also a time that doesn’t depend on a clock to count it, or if a star is shining on a certain part of a small blue planet or not. This is Tempo Zulu, the universal time that we all are on, totally unwillingly and inadvertently. This is the amount of time that it takes for a planet to be formed, or for a continent to move, or for a stone to be worn away by the wind. This is how we all age, all at the same time and at the same rate. This is the amount of time for a plant to grow, or for water to be absorbed in a stone. To this end, I’d like to make a sort of terrarium, or perhaps time capsule is a better word. It is an intervention in an extant negative space within the city of Siena, mainly in the stones or on the wall itself. To take a pock mark or hole carved away by damage or time, and fill it with water and a moss seed, and seal it behind a piece of transparent glass. This new space that I have created behind the glass does not have a clock. It is only on Tempo Zulu. Eventually the water will be leeched by the stone and the moss will grow. And these things will happen at the same rate they happen all over the world, regardless of what your watch says.
Interstitial Space / Points of Entry response:
“The term interstitial, while sort of a term that is in vogue currently, always brings me back to the first word that I used to describe the ‘space between,’ which is the word liminal. It comes from the Latin word ‘limens’ which means ‘threshold.’ I’ve always felt that there is a connection there between consciousness and unconsciousness, like when you’re jerked away by a falling sensation, only to realize you are safe in bed and have just been falling asleep. A liminal space is the space between dreams and reality, between desire and asceticism, between your bare foot and the earth, maybe ultimately between life and death. As an artist, I’ve always been drawn to explore this unexplainable feeling. I need to explore this floating feeling that is unable to truly be put into words.
Some words about my Point of Entry response:
While thinking about this concept of interstitial or liminal space, I found myself wandering through a literal threshold, the gate of Porta Laterina. This is the gate through which you can find Siena’s graveyard. I find Siena is full of darkness and patches of light. Living within the walls of the medieval city, you often find yourself crowded into a narrow street obscured in shadow, only to burst into a hidden courtyard filled with light. This experience is mirrored when you venture outside the wall, going from a completely paved city filled with hidden life to a broad, sun lit countryside overtly spilling humanity into the natural landscape. I found a space near the gate, in between the city and the graveyard, and chose to bury a piece of art. In this case, it is a poem, which roughly translates to “What point does the sun have / if your eye is not there to reflect it.”
Fall 2016 End-of Semester Project Statement: 
My idea is to connect the contemporary world of the internet and internet culture of self-representation with traditional techniques. I’ve used materials gleaned from my personal experience here in Siena to create a mosaic, which is a glass collage representative not only of my contemporary ideas about art but also my current situation and my admiration for traditional and ancient technique. I was inspired to create a collage after traveling to Rome and seeing the Byzantine and medieval-era mosaics on the domed ceilings of several churches.
Preparations for Fall 2016 End-of-Semester Exhibition:
Mid-Term Project: Cultural Intersections

The Physical Notion of a City from Drew Anderson on Vimeo.

Intro Unit Project: Coordinated Universal Time / Tempo Zulu 
Work-in-progress: The Tempo Zulu walk stimulated my imagination quite a bit. The idea of just a walk from point to unknown point changing the perception of the city you are in left an impression on me. Specifically, I have become concerned with the way that people physically experience a city, not optically. If you are strictly looking, you tend to lose or ignore your physical sensations, at least until it’s too late and you’re complaining of sore calves as you’re getting into bed that night. I want to challenge the typical way that a person experiences a city by simply making one more aware of their feet. Shoes are not required. I’ve been experimenting with different ways of drawing and thinking about the sensual experience of a barefoot walk. Relief, intaglio, texture, material, these are all important ideas bouncing around in my mind. There is, however, a need for these ideas to be presented. I am proposing creating the opportunity for action. With a single step, the viewer/experiencer becomes a part of the action of creation, thus completing the circle that began with the laying of the first laying of Siena’s unique stone.
Intro Unit Project: Walk of Destiny
As I embarked on my so called ‘Walk of Destiny’ I did not know what to expect. I tried to enter this assignment as I had entered Italy not one week before: as a stranger, with an open mind. As I walked through the city, I was struck by the sheer difficulty of being a practicing artist while traveling. As someone who consistently works large format with many materials, being bound within a tiny sketchbook with only a ballpoint pen was a challenge that I wanted to embrace. These four pages are the result of a long, sweaty trek at midday through Siena.
Bio statement:
win_20160906_19_51_57_proCiao! My name is Drew Anderson. I was born in Durham, North Carolina and was raised in the same area. I developed an interest in art from a very young age, first applying myself in theater design and then, when I attended college at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, in fine art, specifically painting. I also have a very strong interest in art history and the development of painting, and including that within my own work. I graduated from UNCG in May of 2016, earning my BFA with a concentration in oil painting, and a minor in art history. My work brings together elements from both traditional and contemporary technique and subject matter, specifically focusing on the human desire to depict the self. Of course, for a painter and history nerd like myself, Italy is a dream place to study! The Siena Art Institute has provided me an incredible opportunity to steep myself within the unique history of the city and its art while developing my own practice in response.”