Intern Corner - Q&A with David Onri Anderson

Happiness, oil and moon paint on panel

How would you describe your work as an artist? Your process?

I consider every experience and thought as a process to an action, so each work made, to me is an image of the present, or a present moment. My art attempts to still the motion of mental and physical encounters in one frame as something in between a mental image and a physical action. I think sometimes it can look very psychedelic or subdued, either way I want a verbal quality to my work. As if a being is conjured up from inanimate materials.

My process is simple, I respond to any complex feeling I get from an experience and then work it out with material, usually paint. The work is never an answer or reaction, but a question or proposal for an alternative view.

Who are your main influences?

Shunryu Suzuki, Agnes Martin, Hamlett Dobbins, Robert Gober, Richard Aldrich, Burzum

David at Zeitgeist

David at Zeitgeist

How do you discover the Nashville arts community?

I try to always participate at the monthly Art Crawls, I look into different local artists websites if they’re work interests me, and I look through different gallery and collective rosters online and browse through their portfolios. Some artists really stick out to me and I’ll then try to arrange a studio visit or just hang out with them. I can handle one on one conversation way better than trying to have an in depth conversation in a crowded gallery. New artists move in all the time too, so I keep my eye out for them.

What is the Nashville arts scene missing?
There seems to be a shortage of critical writing as well as art collecting/buying.

What classes have you grown the most from at Watkins?
Terry Thacker’s painting classes definitely helped me discover my voice as a painter, and Patrick DeGuira and Kristi Hargrove’s seminar classes have helped me develop more of a multidisciplinary approach to my practice. All these mentioned professors offer great readings, one on one time, and thorough and constructive criticism. They are now good friends of mine.

What does Watkins need to be doing differently?
I think they should provide more opportunities to use new media tools and devices, and attach a nice grad program to the whole deal (high hopes).

What part of putting on an art show do you most enjoy?
The best part to me is arranging the work in a way that signifies relationships between different pieces while simultaneously activating the space and rhythm of the room in which they are situated. It’s always so different so I can’t have a formula for it, and that to me is what is special about doing it yourself.

What nugget of wisdom have you gleaned from working with Lain York?

Lain has always emphasized the importance of having a conversation. That to me means that whenever a perspective becomes one sided or overly subjective, the work or idea can begin to suffer and close up. To have a conversation or to allow a work to have a dialogue is to open up to new possibilities while still maintaining an initial integrity.

Take Me Out (Veil of Maya), oil, moon paint, and spray paint on linen 11″x14″

What areas of art would you like to explore more?

I have recently been interested in the debris from all the development in different neighborhoods all over town. I think there is something that can be done creatively with the detritus that used to be a neighborhood’s identity or someone’s home.

What’s the best burger in Nashville?

I usually don’t eat out, but one time I had a killer bison burger at Burger Up. I hear Gabby’s is amazing too.

see David's work here