2014 International Art Festival
Artist Official Entries
Justin AndersonSalt Lake City UT USA
Beautiful Struggle - I began hiking around the mountains and peaks near the Salt Lake Valley about ten years ago. I became moderately obsessed with the beauty and challenge it presented. I ended up climbing many of the rugged peaks just to the east of where I live. As I explored these areas I found many unique and beautiful features that I wanted to capture and study through paint. I have also spent a substantial amount of time drawing, painting and studying the human figure. I am fascinated with anatomy, and the function and power we generate as humans. The varying and highly individual forms created by the overlapping muscles are very challenging to represent. As I reflected on how to implement the figurative element into these landscapes, I began to think of the different ways we interact with nature. Many of the situations I envisioned involved intense physical and mental struggle. It is always curious to witness people intentionally placing themselves into these situations for no real tangible reward. Throughout the series I combine the beautiful scenes I have found during my wanderings with experiences of intense physical and mental struggle. I have used this platform to explore how lighting, scale and color combinations enhance the overall mood of the narrative. As I advanced through the project I encountered many new situations which challenged my ability and working methods. In a way the struggle became a metaphor for my own experience. I am rewarded in my pursuit if I am able bring all of these elements together into a convincing illusion of life. The difficulty of orchestrating such an experience keeps me engaged and forces me to be creative. Each new painting presents unique challenges which increase my technical ability and allows me to grow as an artist. My own pursuit of the things that intrigue me, led me to portray this intimate and beautiful struggle of humans and nature. This is about the self imposed torture that makes us unique, and the visually dynamic scenes that accompany our experience.