THOM BENNETT PHOTOGRAPH
http://scott-andresen.comAs a child, Scott Andresen drew constantly and was introduced to quilting by his mother. As an adult, he has explored another dimension of those early beginnings. After being seriously injured in a bike accident and going through a lengthy recovery, repairing and joining broken or worn items became an overarching theme in his work.
“When you repair something, you actively engage in trying to make something better,” says Andresen, an assistant professor at the LSU School of Art, where he oversees the Foundations program. “But you never really know what the result will be. Thematically, to me, that gray area is an interesting idea.”
Raised in Seattle, Washington, Andresen received his BA from Hunter College and his MFA from Yale University, where he was able to study with artist Robert Farris Thompson. He and his wife moved to New Orleans five years ago. Fittingly, they renovated a house in the Holy Cross area where repair is an ongoing process. As an artist whose work is shown at Good Children Gallery on St. Claude Avenue, he also has been part of the repair and renewal of the Ninth Ward.
Andresen’s sources of inspiration are numerous and diverse. A native of the Pacific Rim, he is fond of Japanese, Chinese and Native American art forms. Kintsugi, the art of Japanese ceramic repair, in which a natural root-derived resin is used to mend breaks, then dusted with gold to aesthetically enhance the break, has been a major influence. Andresen employs a similar technique with his collages and mixed media works. He makes them by applying gold or silver leaf to the pleats and holes in pieces of used sandpaper. Some collages have a grid-like layout. (He credits the structural nature to the influence of his math-teacher father as well as his own experience with computer drafting). Other pieces have organic movement.
“I used to grid things out, but I’ve found that when I alter the way I use the sandpaper and distress it, natural patterns emerge,” he says.
Andresen also paints and sculpts. He’s working on a series of sculptures to be shown later this year. A show of his two-dimensional sandpaper works opens late January at the UNO Lakefront Gallery.
“It’s more sandpaper works, but the composition continues to get more ambitious,” he says.
Andresen has received multiple prestigious grants and counts more than 50 exhibits to his name. Additionally, the New Orleans Museum of Art has acquired a piece for its collection, which will be included in the “New Acquisitions” show this spring.
View more of andresen’s work scott-andresen.com