Occasionally, an artist “appears” on the scene, running full speed, if you will, toward success. Joel Anderson seemed to be doing just that when we met at my market just a few short years ago. Recently retired from big oil – a little early – Anderson was determined to make art his new life. He has done just that.
Joel Anderson ‘s exhibition, Submergence, will be on view January 6 – February 1, 2018. Anderson will be available to visit with guests during the opening reception on Saturday, January 6, 2018, from 5 – 8 p.m. with an Artist’s Talk at 6:30 p.m.
Joel Anderson turns inward and downward in his new works, exploring depth in the subject matter as well as in technique.
“My last solo show incorporated 3D-printed elements projecting outward from the paintings”, Anderson said. “This show is almost a complete reversal of that, inviting the viewer to experience the dimensionality downward into semi-transparent layers of encaustic.”
In a series entitled “Basswood Confessions,” memories – most fairly scandalous – are buried under twenty or more layers of encaustic, leaving a hazy impression under a foggy forest of stalwart trees.
“As we age and some of us confront failing memory functions,” Anderson reflects. “There is a desire to write down some of our stories. But goodness, I don’t want everyone to know all the dirty details.”
“One interesting thing you can do with encaustics is to apply shellac to the surface and then light it on fire,” Anderson said. “With some additional manipulation with a blow torch, I was seeing that the shellac would in some cases submerge into the encaustic, giving a new dimensionality to the piece.”
This effect is also used as a background for his geometric social/political commentary pieces “Out of Balance.”
In the more direct interpretation of the show theme, scenes from Anderson’s 10,000 gallon koi pond are depicted, again utilizing layers and layers of encaustic to affect an underwater world of hazy abandon.
Encaustic painting – beeswax mixed with damar resin – was practiced by Greek artists as far back as the 5th century B.C. In fact, the word encaustic comes from the Greek word enkaiein, meaning to burn in, referring to the process of fusing the paint. A mid-20th century revival, including works by Diego Rivera and Jasper Johns, brought encaustic painting back into prominence. Anderson’s creative process uses modern, digital methods incorporated into the ancient medium.
Anderson maintains a studio at The Silos at Sawyer Yards and is a frequent exhibitor on the local art fair circuit, including Bayou City Arts Festival and First Saturday Arts Market. Find more at JoelAndersonArt.com/
Reception for Submergence is Saturday, January 6, 2018, 5 – 8 p.m., Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy, Houston, Texas 77006. Complimentary Valet Parking & Light Refreshments. Go online at ArchwayGallery.com.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the new Market at Sawyer Yards, find him at ArtValet.com