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Andy Curlowe

Andy Curlowe
Andy Curlowe says that his early work was primarily paintings and some video work. “I think I was working with each painting being a strict narrative.” After graduating from arts school in Beverly, Massachusetts, he and his girlfriend (now wife) decided to move to Cleveland. “I was really excited to make that venture from the Boston area, where there is this very established environment and to Cleveland where there is this very “do it yourself” attitude and an endless possibility of creation.” It was supposed to be a temporary move, but Cleveland ended up being such a great fit that they decided to stay. “Been here a little over six years. Everybody’s really nice here. The artist community makes me feel welcome. I think you can just hop right into it because it is so approachable.”

Curlowe currently has a focus on humans interacting with nature, what we do in parallel and in contrast with it, and how that can change, shape, amplify, or distract from our natural landscape. “I had a pile of branches and I had painted the latter half of the branch with this artificial yellow color not naturally found on the stick itself. It’s just a play of juxtaposition with the literal nature and human element.” Curlowe became interested in working with how humans interact with nature when he was asked to participate in a landscape show called “Terra Non Firma.” He started thinking of the human and nature element when he looked back to where he grew up in comparison with where he is now. Growing up surrounded by nature was quite different from where he is now in the city surrounded by elevated structures. “It’s like geometry of elevation around you instead of the organic.”

“I've been making paintings that are primarily landscape based that work around the theme of juxtaposing nature and industry into one platform. How those needs of a society will physically reshape what’s naturally occurring in a landscape. The newest series embodies volcanoes as a theme both visually and metaphorically, where there are these elements of destruction and creation. There’s this billowing and smoking of the thing that’s there and has always been there. It’s just that at this moment in time it erupts and causes either disaster or disruption in the society. Afterwards, either society recovers or nature recovers."

One of Curlowe’s more recent projects has involved working amidst nature. “I’ve been doing this series of tents and setting them up and arranging them specifically to interject themselves into that landscape with geometric force which would be a societal element. One of the most important shifts in human society was the Neolithic era where we were going from hunters and gatherers to a society that’s more stationary. These tents kind of embody this idea that we are temporarily affecting this sublime element that’s something larger than what we are now.”