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Episode 97: Andrew Cornell Robinson

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

Exploration and identity discernment seem to be central themes in the work of Andrew Cornell Robinson. This past weekend, I sifted through images of his ceramics (mostly), but realized that they could not be held mutually exclusive from his other drawings, personae, sculpture and prints. All of these expression modalities inform and shape the creation of each other. We see traces of graffiti, whispers of religion, portraiture, typography, and the value of line made by the human hand. We see clay crushed or stabilized in non-industrial techniques, organic to the form from which it rises- not straying from the original identity as clay, but morphing into something more tender and vulnerable in its new form as a vessel or object. We see the overlapping of mediums to convey the meaning: drawing, printing, painting, sculpting . . . Layers that strangely strip away at the complexity of the pieces rather than complicate them further. Robinson invites you to ruminate with him, and allows his viewers the freedom to piece together parts of his history as deeply as they want to.

His most recent body of work, Vanitas is a series of prints utilizing juxtaposed images of surveillance footage with abstracted pixelated flora. The imagery combines 17th century symbolism and philosophy with midcentury conservativism, giving us the feeling of "the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death" coupled with expectations of conformity and pressing social norms.

Vanitas is informed by its predecessors that had also incorporated techniques like screen-printing as well as typography, graffiti references and printed illustrations, adding to the visual identity- the connective tissue- of Robinson's work. For example, the poetic proverbs we see peppered throughout Congregation of Wits also becomes the literal aesthetic language in other pieces (like we see in Graffiti Project 2 f (Infanta Maria Josefa)). The explosiveness and irony in an expression such as "To hell with culture" is made ridiculous by the artistic collection and societal history from which it emerges, and the creator is unafraid to challenge and perhaps poke fun at the meaning to provide a deeper understanding for both the artist and viewer in the explorative process.

We are thrilled that Andrew is joining us Tuesday night, July 5th at 8 pm EST to chat, and we invite you to join in. Bring your beverages, and tune in on on Facebook, Youtube, or Twitch!

If you missed the live interview, here is the show on YouTube.

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