Artist Spotlight: Andrew Krieger

Artist Spotlight: Andrew Krieger

What if a gifted artist liked “crafts”?  Could a talented artist turn a seemingly manufactured process into a contemplative, meaningful piece of art?  The simple answer: Yes. 

I first saw one of Andrew Krieger’s constructed pieces at the Detroit Artists Market.  I looked at it, noticed that he had created three dimensional figurines to stick onto a painting, and then I walked away . . . and then I quickly walked back, and I admitted to myself that these were great pieces.  I’ve seen un-trained artists try similar techniques in the past, and the result was kitsch.  But somehow Andrew developed a process and an eye to create striking three dimensional pieces that are far-removed from kitsch . . . in fact, his pieces are at the other end of the spectrum: great work.

With his pieces Andrew creates a movie set environment that draws you in to search for the story that is being told.  You know it is a movie set, yet you are still able to suspend any disbelief in no time and allow yourself to experience a great story.  Andrew has a great story — here a small snippet:

Thedetroiter:  When did you start painting?

Andrew:I was trying to paint without much success for years after I dropped out of art school in 87 and then I had a breakthrough in 2007. I’ve been painting nonstop since then. I think before I cared too much what other people thought of my work until I realized life is too short and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I wasn’t driven like I am now.

Thedetroiter: What style do you consider your work?

Andrew:Style to me is unimportant, or maybe I don’t think I have a real signature style. The more I work the more it changes. I paint in a realistic figurative style but I’m really trying to loosen things up and let the paint have a fresher more immediate feel to it.

Thedetroiter: Does beauty play a role in your work?

Andrew:Absolutely. It’s what drives me, it’s what I want to share. What I think is beautiful or interesting and then try and make some visual poetry with that. Beauty sometimes can be just a tool in my toolbox I use to try and draw people in and than communicate something larger.

Thedetroiter:  How have you developed as an artist over the last five years?

Andrew:I went from zero to whatever I am now. I love participating in this open dialogue that art is with the community that views it. I stood on the sidelines for too long, it’s a blast making art and showing it and getting feedback. I love it, it’s who I am.

Thedetroiter:  What is your process?

Andrew:I work in three dimensions, painting as sculpture, somewhat. I’ll carve figures or cut them out of plywood and present them in some sort of painted setting. That setting is usually a curved form that I construct.

Thedetroiter: What is the most difficult part about your process?

Andrew:I start with the form and then try and figure out what my subject is. It’s like working backwards, like making a real elaborate frame and then trying to figure out what to paint in it. It’s somewhat maddening but works for the most part. It makes it harder to get frustrated and abandon something, when I’ve already put a bunch of hours into building the form I’ll be painting on. I don’t like wasting time, so every piece has a “make it work” aspect built in to it before I even get started actually painting.

Thedetroiter:  What inspires you?

Andrew:Music. Stories. A great loaded brush stroke. Color. People and friends being active and working to do something special. A way of working or making art that’s surprising, whatever that means.

Thedetroiter:  Who are your favorite Detroit area artists?

Andrew:Matt Hanna, Clinton Snider, Mike McGillis, Steve Magsig, Kristin Beaver, Scott Hocking

Thedetroiter: What’s next?

Andrew:I have some work right now in a show at the Grand Rapids Art Museum called “Michigan Perspectives” it’s up until Nov. 13th. I’ll be in a group show at the Cass Cafe starting on Nov. 6th, with some great artists and people, like Mary Fortuna and Faina Lerman to name a few.

If you want to find out more about Andrew’s work, visit his website: