TOY GUNS SERIES
Toy Guns is a series speaking into issues of race, school shootings, gun accessibility and how gun culture is sold to children through toys. Kids deserve the freedom to study in school and enjoy their innocent years without the glorification of guns so heavy circulated in our gun driven culture divorced from the necessary accountability. The series of portraits comment on the careless nature of guns by depicting innocent lives juxtaposed against the glamorization of guns in the form of toys. Toy guns looks at the oblivious nature from a young age and the freedom kids have to brandish fake weapons and pretend to play killing games without no consequence in the future
Andersson, through this series also implicitly explores the injustice of shootings touching upon issues of Police brutality and the #blacklivesmatter movement. The childrens hands represent thebridging of racial division and unity. The paintings are intended to feel slightly uncomfortable and to both provoke and confront this issue. They are poignant, beautiful and scary all at the same time.
GENTILE EMBRACE SERIES
‘Gentile Embrace’ is a provocative modern-day rendition of biblical scenes, including Da Vinci’s Last Supper, with Jesus Christ surrounded by more current figures that have been judged or outcast by society. The characters include the homeless, drug addicts, and convicts. The Gentile Embrace series is about updating Biblical scenes and asking ourselves which modern-day figures those stories would have included.
The series stirs a reaction in the viewer to look deep within himself or herself to confront their false sense of inadequacy, suggesting that there is nobody who is exempt from God’s use. Throughout Biblical history, God has used gentle archetypes to shame the wise and proud, illuminating the strength in weakness. These lessons illustrate our hunger for a force greater than ourselves, allowing us to discover our true identity through the unveiling of unconditional love.
BRAND FOR LIFE SERIES
SWEATSHOP WORKER, GIRL WITH GUCCI BAG
BRAND FOR LIFE is a reminder of the realities and effects of our consumerism, seeking to redefine iconography and to challenge perspectives by juxtaposing western branding to a wider story. The purpose is not to condemn corporate culture, but rather to reconnect popular products to the process of making them, highlighting its human cost.
With the explosion of social media, we live in a culture of self-elevation, performance and adoration rather than tangible accomplishment. BRAND FOR LIFE aims to challenge the superficiality of over-commercialisation, not through measures of shock but, rather, by acknowledging our connection to a wider humanity. The paintings bear no secrets, and are stripped down to just one core product. While the paintings are not commenting on these brands in themselves, the brands shown represent consumer icons as a whole.
STOLEN FACES SERIES
STOLEN FACES seeks to give representation and visibility to those who do not conform to the artificial and image conscious, attributes so often propagated by onscreen and print media. In recognising the media’s and our own capacity to distort and corrupt reality, Andersson’s paintings stand both in defiance and pride celebrating diversity in the knowledge that we are all uniquely made.
The presence of STOLEN FACES is an expression that encourages intimacy, the like of which is rarely understood. In capturing both actuality and the elusive ethereal, the fusion of subtle technicolor has the effect of making ordinary details appear extraordinary. The subjects retain both an ephemeral and intense presence, provoking a cognitive dissonance. By its nature, this encourages the viewer to confront their preconceptions of identity in a manner that is uniquely uncompromising.
Stripped bare, seen for who she is to the core, through intimacy and release of emotion. This piece shows a girl coming out of water, evoking purity and freedom and forces the viewer to confront something deep within themselves.
#YOLO is a critical social commentary, painted in response to the narcissistic quality of modern popular culture. #YOLO juxtaposes the gravity of the Syrian Refugee Crisis and its victims with the self-absorption of social media, selfie sticks and contextually flippant phrases like YOLO (You Only Live Once) in Western culture.
'BLOOD AND WATER'
This piece is extremely emotional and powerful, but goes beyond commercialism and hits a different realm of collectors. For example this piece really brought healing the the girl, who was a sex worker from the Bronx. Her friends, who work in the same profession, broke down in tears after seeing it, commenting that she represented so many women they know. In this painting, I aimed to illuminate the juxtaposition between their abuse and pain and their breakthrough. Issues of generational female black slavery are subtly addressed. This painting brought a deep sense of restoration for me as an artist, allowing me to realise we can change lives through what we create.
The subject of this painting is a young girl my friend met on his travels through India. I often work with professional photographers to achieve the right image. The girl's eyes speak up for every youth in India, to bring reconciliation and hope. It's more representational than conceptual, but nonetheless evokes a strong emotional response due to the power of the eyes, which speak of truth and freedom. I kept my use of color fairly abstract, selecting almost-Monet type colors, with disrupted abstract smears of blue and pink around her face. This technique allows each viewer to see a very different image in her eyes, often a personal projection of truth or hope.
A 16-year-old trafficking survivor who I met. In painting her portrait, I focused on themes of rebirth breaking free from one's past. Accordingly, we photographed her coming out of a pool of water. As we were photographing her, the girl began to cry; I realized the process and painting helped restore value and dignity for her.
'CITY OF ANGELS'
We partnered with a Los Angeles youth homeless shelter Safe Place for Youth; this is one of the girls from the center. It’s a representational portrait aimed towards raising awareness of youth homelessness and supporting local causes that work to enrich the lives of at-risk youth. I learned a lot through this experience and how, as with trafficking victims, homelessness can happen to ordinary youth from normal families where they were kicked out. Los Angeles has the highest rate of homelessness in America, and to surviving in Los Angeles as a homeless youth becomes even more difficult without an ID, social security number, license and the right support.
Sweatshop Worker is one of the strongest pieces left from series Brand for Life, after Girl with Gucci Bag, which was purchased by George Lucas
This painting was based on a dream I had where I saw a guy on his knees in tears just having tried everything to satisfy in his life and needing something greater than himself, realizing that the world promised so much but never delivered. Out of heaven comes a voice "You're Right where I want you" in this moment as you are, in your weakness my strength and love is made known. ' it's an encounter which speaks into the man's truest identity and says 'this is who you are and you know you are'
What I realise now about this prophetic dream is God's character has always been to use to foolish and weak things of the world to shame the wise and proud to show that it's his power doing it through ordinary people. It's his sick joke on the world that rejects him. It's a beautiful thing
This painting is from the Justice for Women series. The mouth area has been subtly opened by the person wearing veil as a symbol of giving all women a voice, against oppression and control and torture in certain cultures where violent treatment of women has been justified through twisted interpretations of religion, giving religion a bad name. As an artist, I feel a responsibility to speak up for those who can’t particularly for women in cultures who are prohibited from asserting themselves. We must recognise the Western privilege we are born into and acknowledge our responsibility as free people to speak out for the oppressed.
In the Name of God depicts the hypocrisy behind ending lives over religion. The critical piece depicts a scene of religious figures and prophets from world religions as they care for the dying, the sick and the wounded.