My work investigates the boundary between mechanical and manual reproduction, how meaning is created or lost through copying, either with a photocopier or by hand. I recreate images by hand (drawn and painted) from a variety of sources (Life Magazine, history textbooks, the internet) cropping and altering them in Photoshop to create something new. I am interested in how the historical subject matter of painting—landscape, still life, figure, interiors—can be reinterpreted using my own visual language, informed as much by the aesthetics of graphic design, ‘70s movie posters and punk album covers as by classical art history.
These images, removed from specific historical situations, take on a new meaning to the viewer. I call the resulting groups of images “compilations,” a sort of visual mixtape. The arrangement of images is something like my bedroom as a teenager, which was filled with images clipped from magazines, images of bands or writers that I admired interspersed with random images I found aesthetically interesting. By thinking of these drawings as a series, the work has become more about the relationship between the images and connections that the viewer creates when encountering them, connections that I cannot control. Traces of my own hand are visible throughout these drawings, as are traces of the materials I use to create them: ink, acrylic, pastel, carbon pencils, but I try to hew closely to the original image in a hope to make the viewer pause and wonder about the creation of these pieces, about what exactly they are, a drawing, a painting or a print. I have recently been mounting the drawings to panels, in lieu of framing, to make the experience of them more direct and to make these drawings on paper appear more like paintings or objects.
Andy Mister has had solo exhibitions at Commune Gallery (Tokyo, 2019), Hirschl & Adler Modern (New York, 2019), and Turn Gallery (New York, 2018). A monograph of his work, Distorted Ghosts, was published by Commune Editions in 2019. His work was included in 2020 at the Aldrich Museum. He has been included in group exhibitions in many galleries, including Joshua Liner Gallery, Jeff Bailey Gallery, Morgan Lehman Gallery, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Dieu Donné, Lesley Heller Workspace, and The National Arts Club. Andy has published two books, Heroes & Villains (Cultural Society, 2015), a book of drawings, and Liner Notes (Station Hill, 2013), a lyric essay. He has been awarded residencies from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Bemis Center. In the Spring of 2021, he will have solo exhibitions at Rebecca Camacho Presents (San Francisco) and Second Street Gallery (Charlottesville). He lives and works in Beacon, NY.