Wk 5 – Artist Conversation – Andre Ritter

Artist: Andre Ritter
Exhibition: Fuse: Join to Form; Single Entity
Media: Metals, aluminum
Gallery:CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: N/A
Instagram: N/A

Graduating recently, last spring Ritter obtained his BFA in metals from CSULB. Ritter’s interests include comic books, watching The Walking Dead, playing volleyball on the weekend, and visiting art galleries. Ritter also said that he hopes to someday set up an art program at his son’s elementary school. Having undergraduates run the program, he hopes to incorporate the element of art into their core education. Ritter also expressed an interest in vacationing, exploring, and researching other cultures. Ritter also related that the most difficult metal he has worked with was steel.

For the lamp, Ritter said that he used simplistic aluminum. Specifically he contacted a company that did hydogening. After that, he sent them a computer file, shaped out a design, and finally decided on using the method of water jetting. He chose water jetting since it gave the cleanest cut, and was the quickest. Concerning the headdress, andre used two feathers: blue and green, and arranged them in a mix- match pattern. For all the projects Andre used aluminum metal. Almost all the designs consist of a geometric, sharp- edged, pattern. Andre related that he worked with aluminum metal since it was the easiest material to work with

Ritter said that his main inspiration was nature, all things South Pacific, and mainly exotic places. Ritter said that he took inspiration from nature, motion, detail, and objects that are healing to the agoraphobic. The headdress and lamp were inspired after “vacation” islands. Ritter said that the lamp was created because it reminded  him of how it would feel to be on an island during a stormy evening. The headdress was inspired after tropical, exotic places; specifically places where people read about but don’t get to go to. I believe Ritter was trying to create these pieces with the words “relax” and “calming” in mind. For these pieces use very easy, smooth colors. Nothing bright or rough, these colors connote feelings of relaxation and peace – the exact emotion you would feel if you were on a vacation on a tropical island.

I truly enjoyed Ritter’s pieces. With today’s fast paced society, these pieces give off a easy, care free vibe, which is a rare feeling within today’s current society. Ritter’s pieces really resonate with me because I love the dreamy, relaxing connotations it brings. These pieces do carry the theme of a far off island. Relating to my academic experience, these pieces remind me of my A.P. English 4 class during senior year of high school. We studied Life of Pi. In the story, the main protagonist, Pi, gets stuck on a tropical island. I feel as though Pi would of found pieces such as these there. Overall, I really enjoyed Ritter’s artwork.

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