Everything eventually decays. Sometimes even whole cities…This is inspiring actually. It’s an image from reality of the themes I consider in my work, especially as the vessels begin to take architectural forms. As a collective, I sometimes see them as a city. Clear visions of the artificial products of man that despite their semblance of permanence will always fall to the forces of nature.
What an exciting week. A successful senior exhibition, the Swarthmore Black Cultural Center Academic Achievement Award and...A FULBRIGHT GRANT FOR 10-MONTHS IN CHINA TO FUND MY ARTIST RESIDENCY AT THE CHINA ACADEMY OF ART. This is winning. YES
Another great article featuring my work in the Swarthmore College List Gallery Senior Exhibition Series
Alex Anderson ’13, opened yesterday, April 25, and will be up through April 29. Anderson’s pieces are uniformly elegant, ranging from streamlined beauty to more complex and gilded pieces. One dark, glistening vase serves as a platform for a small ceramic bird, lying on its back with its delicate legs sticking straight up. Others incorporate fragile-looking flower petals or tendrils. Anderson describes his work as moving slowly away from functional sculpture and dealing with themes of “mortality, decay, and ephemeral beauty.” He cites 16th century Dutch still-life paintings and a recent trip to China as influences. He credits vanitas paintings, which he first encountered in his Western Art course, as contributing to his fascinating with “the fleeting nature of life.” For Anderson, “The fact that you can have all these beautiful things in life, but you can’t take them with you” is an eternal conundrum worth exploring. “There’s so much that you can say with an image or an object that words cannot necessarily express,” he said.
Featured in the Living and Style section of Swarthmore College's The Phoenix
Alex Anderson sits perfect postured on a stool, legs crossed so one knee sits over the other and his right foot bobs off the ground. His black leather shoe is clean of the red dust that covers the floor of his studio space. His hair in its trademark right triangle has been carefully teased and groomed into sharp diagonal slope.
He purses his lips, then speaks.
“Beauty is the first thing people see. It draws them into a subject.”
Anderson’s manicured appearance hints at a preoccupation with externality evident in his ceramics. About two dozen of the artist’s vases, teapots, and abstract sculptures will be displayed in his upcoming show as a part of the annual exhibition of works by studio arts majors.
Flowers wilt, trees rot, people wrinkle; yet throughout this process we strive to progress and present our most perfect selves to the world the way a rose continues to bud after it drops a blossom beyond its prime. This cycle of immaculate beauty and impending decay intrigues me, as it is our mortal reality.