I want to create a wide prism of Blackness that beams light in all directions. Too often Black is oversimplified into a racialized cube or windowpane that absorbs its multidimensional nature. I want to challenge this flat representation through emboldened imagery, injecting blackness into “white” space, generating discourse, and pushing boundaries of mediums as a tool to push the boundaries of Blackness.
My subject matter is the exploration of Black identity, culture and history. Too often the narratives surrounding Black experience and existence are undocumented, altered or one-dimensional. What it means to be Black is not static or a monolithic term that has to succumb to historical context. Blackness links the experiences of the African diaspora so it remains a dynamic and moving target. I want to create visual language that defines who we are through identity, captures our power through culture, and defines our paths through history.
My art practice will strive to spark dynamic discourse that takes into account a collective perspective rather than a singular one. We’ve moved away from singular representatives into a digital world with connected voices. Now is the perfect time to engage what it means to be Black through a cross pollination of Black perspectives. Art is for everyone and, this way, we all play a role. As an artist I can be a conductor that leads an orchestra to create a composition that elicits truer sound.
To achieve this I use technology to keep up with the evolving notion of Blackness. Technology allows for an exchange of communication that creates data to inform. As a result the work will generate byproducts of our connectivity as another medium in my artwork alongside the paint, pushpins, and images. Artwork will incorporate digital behaviors and principles such being more open-source, real time, social, and media driven.
I want each artwork to be collaboration towards an understanding of the Black experience.
Andre grew up between Morristown, NJ and St. Ann, Jamaica. The stark contrast in racial demography between the two made him acutely sensitive to the role race plays in forming an individual’s sense of personal identity, history, and culture. His work is grounded in this perspective.
After earning a degree in Computer Science from Duke University, Andre moved to New York and began a career in advertising, helping companies use digital technology to reach a wider audience for their brands. But in 2009, realizing that his “tech side” had dominated his “creative side” for the better part of a decade, Andre made a decision: he would take a month-long sabbatical from his job to explore his artistic pursuits – and within days, he had rediscovered his passion for oil painting. Two years later, having simultaneously maintained a full-time and award-winning advertising career, he had created a small but cohesive collection of work he felt might be worthy of presentation.
A handful of years later, Andre has made a name for himself as an emerging young talent, and his work has been exhibited in New York and elsewhere, including: the “eMerge: Danny Simmons and Artists on the Cusp” and “Art in Flux” shows in Harlem, NY; a solo exhibition at the FrontRunner Gallery in Manhattan, NY; and the BIT Conference at SXSW in Austin, TX. Most recently, his paintings were featured at the 2014 Jamaica Biennial in Kingston, Jamaica.
Andre is predominantly viewed as a “visual storyteller,” heavily influenced by his background in technology, the Black experience, and themes such as the pixilation of imagery and analog vs. digital media. Since his first solo show in 2012, he's experimented with various mediums such as oil paint, pushpins, photography, and street art. He’s commissioned public and private works, and sold pieces to New York and LA-based art collectors.
Andre recently built his own studio in his family’s hometown of Chalky Hill, Jamaica. He currently travels between New York and Jamaica.
B.A. 2003 Duke University Durham, NC
2013 Blacks in Technology, SXSW Austin, TX
2012 Bruised Thumbs, Frontrunner Gallery New York, NY
2014 Jamaica Biennial, National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica
2014 Iconic32 Arts + Creativity, Bucketfeet Popup New York, NY
2014 Kris Bowers Visual Album, Neuehouse New York, NY
2014 Black + White, Art in Flux, Aloft Hotel New York, NY
2014 AOTA Black History Artists, DTCC Jersey City, NJ
2014 Crown is Already Paid For, Atrium Gallery Morristown, NJ
2013 Nothing is Colorproof, Art in Flux, Aloft Hotel New York, NY
2013 Vanderbilt Republic: AFTH, Gowanus Lofts Brooklyn, NY
2013 Guinness Live It Up, Sander Studios Brooklyn, NY
2013 eMerge: Marvin Van Peebles & Artists, Strivers Garden Gallery NY, NY
2013 Summer Artist Showcase, DJ Scratch Academy New York, NY
2012 Art Speaks, Art in Flux Harlem Gallery New York, NY
2012 eMerge: Danny Simmons & Artists, Strivers Garden Gallery New York, NY
2012 Harlem Arts Festival, Marcus Garvey Park New York, NY
2011 Judge and Jury, Kianga Ellis Projects Brooklyn, NY
The International Review of African American Art, Vol.24 No. 2
Parallax Conversation Series, National Jazz Museum in Harlem
Art + Technology, Duke University Durham, NC
2014, “Buttons” Commission, Renaissance Hotel New York, NY
2014, “Attitude is Everything” Commission, Renaissance Hotel New York, NY
2014, “Invisible Hieroglyphics” Commission, Arrow Electronics Denver, CO
2012, “Untitled” Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners New York, NY
Duke Magazine: Muse Section
New York Times: Art Section (print)
Jet Magazine (print)
Black Artist News: Exhibition Coverage
Black Enterprise Photo Gallery
Black Enterprise Article
Huffington Post UK
My Modern Met
If It's Hip, It's Here