In art circles, Andy Mister is known for his overtly political-themed work. This time around, the Brooklyn-based artist is taking a more subtle approach, expressing his thoughts by using photographs of nature as a primary focus.
Last Thursday evening, Mister debuted his latest exhibition,Vanishing Point, at Hirschl & Adler. The eight works featured explore the boundary between mechanical and manual reproduction. Vintage photographs are used as a base for the drawings, which are then cropped, enlarged and reinvented in vivid hues—similar to the Xerox-aesthetic of punk album covers. The goal? To question how meaning is created or lost though the act of copying. At first glance, the works indeed highlight the beauty of the great outdoors, but there’s a deeper meaning behind it all.
“I started thinking about the current moment with climate change and pollution. Using nature as a subject matter is, sadly, political, and it has added this importance that maybe 25 years ago, I wouldn't have thought about,” Mister tells AVENUE. “I called this exhibition Vanishing Point to acknowledge what we’re losing in the environment. All the scientific data says that we are past the tipping point. I guess it is a little weird to create something beautiful for a topic so scary but at least, for me, this is just one way to show the larger idea.”
Original photographs from the pieces were sourced from the internet and historic books. Walking towards a piece entitled Rose Garden No. 2, Mister reveals that the photo was found through the digital archives of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. “I’m interested in the way printing from past decades have sort of a painterly, hazy look," he says. "When you blow up an image, there’s a lot of information that gets lost. I like those disruptions when it’s not what you thought you wanted but becomes abstract in a new way.”
When it comes to deciding the color for each piece, the process comes together organically as well. A few years ago, Mister broke free from creating just black and white works. He started experimenting with different ways of toning the paper before drawing on it and uses fluid acrylic paint to mix unique shades.
As the evening wrapped up, Mister says, “People can have a personal relationship with these pieces and take what they want from them. I hope they will spend a little time to think about how they were made and why.”
Andy Mister's Vanishing Point exhibition will be on view until April 29th at Hirschl & Adler, The Crown Building, 730 Fifth Avenue.