Wk 5 – Artist Conversation – André Ritter

Artist: André Ritter
Exhibition: FUSE: Join to Form A Single Entity
Media: Aluminum, Rice Paper, Electrics, Brass, Copper, Silver, Steel, Wood, Leather, Feathers
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: Artist does not have a website at this time

About the Artist

André Ritter is a CSULB School of Arts graduate as of last spring. He studied in the Metalsmithing & Jewelry program, and has been creating metal art for the last four years. When creating art, André is inspired by various elements and concepts such as nature, motion, lots of detail, and other peoples’ artwork. His other interests include comic books, volleyball, and The Walking Dead. Andre has two sons, ages ten and eight. He is striving towards a very noble achievement of setting up an art program at his sons’ elementary school. He is currently helping to set up such a program that will not only expose children to art, but also provide opportunities to undergraduate students seeking teaching experience. He hopes to set up both 2D and 3D studios. André says he hopes that helping expose youth to art will be his legacy.

Formal Analysis 

André’s pieces vary greatly in form, texture, color, size, line, materials, and other formal elements. However, all of his pieces come together beautifully to convey shared themes. Even from his few pieces featured in the FUSE exhibit, it is very evident that his pieces share inspiration and distinct style. His lamp piece integrates beautiful lines and sharp edges. The lines in the lamp’s center are sharp and are a beautiful and stark contrast to the rice paper they are affixed to. The soft yellow light that the electrics under rice paper emit is also a beautiful contrast to the jagged, sharp angles and lines of the metal. A different piece that showcases very different elements is a headdress also crafted by André. An especially notable difference in this piece is that it presents curvy lines and sinuous form in its utilization of circles and feathers. The piece includes both bright and dark colors, as seen in the blue and green feathers, and gold, brown, and silver metals at the base. This color contrast enhances both color schemes.

Content Analysis

André’s collection conveys a very evident and beautiful tropical theme. His love of exotic places and appreciation for stormy and tropical weather is seen through the utilization of light, and both bright and dark colors in his pieces. His lamp piece is very reflective of a tiki torch that one might see in a tropical place such as Hawaii. His headdress conveys a tropical feel in its color, vibrance, and design. André’s pieces also explore other themes, as well. His idea that “water is cleaner than razors” is very evidently reflected in his lamp piece. The sharp, jagged edges of the metal design against the backdrop of soft light shining through rice paper is very symbolic of such contrasts as stark and razors and water. This could easily convey a variety of contradictory themes such as purity and impurity, light and dark, soft and sharp, or gentle and abrasive. The pieces also showcase great influences of motion and nature, especially the headdress. The circles lining the base and the curvature of the feathers greatly convey motion and naturalistic elements. In accordance with the tropical theme of the collection, such curvature could suggest motion of nature, such as rolling of waves. Perhaps the most prominent shared feature of the pieces is their shared conveyance of both soft and sharp elements that truly encapsulate the ever-changing nature of tropical weather.

Synthesis/My Experience

I really love André’s pieces and all of their themes and elements. I am also greatly inspired by nature, and I definitely saw that the artist is too. In this past, I have found myself questioning how exactly an artist was inspired by the concepts he or she said to have been inspired by, but I feel that André’s inspirations are very much evident in his pieces. I feel that the beautiful contrasting colors, motion, and lines in his pieces are especially significant in conveying his themes. My favorite piece is the lamp. I absolutely love the soft light under rice paper in contrast with the sharp angles of the metal. I feel that the tropical theme he was inspired by is so brilliant in that it serves as a perfect platform for other themes. The ever-changing, drastic nature of tropical weather is very reflective of life and various contradictory elements and qualities of people. André’s pieces make me feel this concept deeply, and they also make me feel like I should be in Hawaii relaxing under the sun. They are beautifully vibrant in both color and in feel. I am so appreciative of André’s art and his immense talent.

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