May 2nd - June 1st, 2019
Large-scale oil paintings by Springfield artist Andrae Green, May 2nd to June 1st.
Backscatter is a diffuse reflection due to scattering, as opposed to specular reflection as from a mirror.
Andrae's work uses painting as an exploration to delve into the unquantifiable internalized senses which we use to perceive the world: intuition, clairvoyance, and other feelings that lie outside the physical realm. Fragility and impermanence are a constant in three-dimensional reality, and these works show those very slippages that occur due to interruptions by the metaphysical world. This speaks to our current age, where representation and reality can be interchangeable and physicality can be fleeting. History and fantasy can also be interchangeable and used to reinvent our identities. Andrae is particularly interested in how legacies of the Middle Passage and slavery can be re-imagined to fantasize alternate dimensions and multiple storylines that may not be in history books.
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 2nd, 5-8pm, during Amherst Arts Night Plus.
About Andrae Green:
Andrae is a painter whose work explores the nuances of the collective consciousness that has been shaped by time, the sea, and the Middle Passage. Green was born in Kingston, Jamaica. In 2006, he was awarded a grant sponsored by the Jamaican government and the Chase Fund to obtain his MFA in Painting at the New York Academy of Art. In 2011, he was awarded a residency at the CAC Troy, NY. In 2012, he was one of two artists chosen to represent Jamaica in the Beijing Biennale. In 2013, 2015, and 2017, Green was selected as a part of the American delegation that represented the US at the Salon de Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, France. His paintings have been shown in the US, Jamaica, Canada, China, and France, and are in private collections around the world. He lives and works in Springfield with his wife, artist Priya Nadkarni.
Q&A with Andrae:
How old were you when you created your first artwork?
That's an interesting question. I started painting very late, in my twenties when I went to undergrad at the Edna Manley College of Art in Jamaica. Before that I would only draw or use colored pencils. I started drawing very early, maybe at age three. I cant remember a time when I was never drawing. I used to draw from comic books, spider man especially, this sparked my interest in the human figure.
How has your style changed over the years?
My earlier work was very influenced by my interest in comic book illustrations and impressionist paintings. I gave myself very narrow parameters in which to play within. Now the content that I want to discourse on is broader so I need a technique which can lend itself to such.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I don't think that's easy to know. The question lends itself to make one answer in a way that is devoid of agency. Like anyone else I had artistic tendencies, and these tendencies lead me to where I am now. But I had to decide and it's the decision that is the hardest to give into. So I'll say this, that I made a decision to give into in my twenties.
Why did you choose your medium?
I started with acrylics in undergrad but switched to oils when I realised that all the great masters past and present have painted with it. I have never looked back.
What inspires you?
Everything. But mostly painting, movies and current events.
Where do you work?
What is your creative process like? How do you work?
I'll tell you when I figure that one out. Sometimes I'll have a clear picture in my head. Another time I'll have a feeling of some thing that I need to say.
What do you like about being an artist in the valley?
Hmm. There are a lot of opportunities if you know where to look.
Which artists do you admire?
Wow thats a long list. First off, my wife Priya Green is awesome. Then it's my teacher Vincent Disiderio. After that it's the old masters Michelangelo, Caravaggio then it's the contemporaries Gerhard Richter, Neo Rauch, Ruprecht Von Kaufmann, Phil Hale, and many more. The list keeps growing!
What is your favorite piece that you’ve created?
Maybe Obwa Coocoo, I did that one in 2010. Thats when I found my stride.
Any advice to young or emerging artists?
Work hard and never give up no matter what. Life always rewards hard work.
Banner image: detail from Stoning Whales - either fish or cut bait, 84x88.5", oil on canvas, 2016