Wk5 – Artist Conversation – Andre Ritter

Artist: Andre Ritter

Exhibition: Fuse: Join to Form A Single Entity

Media: Aluminum

Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery East

Website: None

Instagram: None

About the Artist: This weeks artist conversation I had to choose between a few artists because these artists are actually apart of the same exhibit. My decision came down to Andre Ritter. Andre is CSULB graduate who earned his BFA in metals. Just last spring was when he graduated and is now back here at CSULB showcasing his artwork as an alumni. He has four years working with metals and enjoys working mostly with metals but he also has other works consisting of different material. He is also a father to two sons, one is eight and the other is ten. Currently, he is trying to launch an art program at his sons schools which shows he is very well involved in the different curricular activities. He also used to live in Hawaii for about 7 years. His hobbies consist of reading comic books, watching the Walking Dead, and enjoys volleyball.

Formal Analysis: Andre specializes in metal, meaning the media he is involved with is metals. His favorite metal to use is Aluminum for various reasons. First, he mentioned  because it is the easiest to work with rather than working with steel. The main reason is because steel is more complex because it involves using fire to craft the work. Second, he loves the permanence that comes with using aluminum. One perfect example showing his use of aluminum in his work is in the chandelier above. Although it looks like steel and painted, that is not the case. You can see how the chandelier has great detail, straight lines, sharp edges (not meant to be seen as sharp), and a natural paint-less aluminum frame. This is just one of his works. As you can see, there is also this tropical and mysterious grass like piece close to where I took the camera (or picture 2). He explained how in some of his works, including the grass like one, was inspired by his love for tropical antiques. The colors from the antique are very bright and vivid. Although he specializes in metals, Andre enjoys making a few different pieces.

Content Analysis: Andre’s work can range from being mysterious, abstract, cultural, and looking like tropical antiques. But most importantly, his work is a reflection of his likes and experiences. For example, his time in the South Pacific and Hawaii influenced the details of his work. This is mostly evident in the tropical piece with the vivid colors. In a way, it’s his way of sharing his experiences with others through his art. The tropical piece gives off a free spirited, full of life, and happy atmosphere. Although these traits are not evident throughout his bigger scale aluminum piece, where it seems mysterious and gloomy, Andre still believes that all his work revolves around his time in the South Pacific.

My Experience: As soon as I walked in the gallery, I noticed the use of metals and already I was amazed by the different pieces that implemented these metals. But in all honesty, Andre’s tropical antique caught my attention. It made me a little confused as to why this piece is here alongside these other pieces. Everything else seemed so calm and dull whereas the antique gave a completely different atmosphere with the vibrant colors and tropical background. Although, once I approached Andre I felt the need to ask him what this piece is all about. It made perfect sense because that piece was based on the area in which he lived, specifically Hawaii. I’d also like to mention that his chandelier looks modern to me, I would love to walk in to my home and see the chandelier hanging as soon as you enter. But all in all, I enjoyed his art showcase and the meaning behind them made them the most interesting to me.

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