Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Every Picture Tells Your Story--Narrative and the paintings of Andrew David Ringler

Write what you know.” It’s the advice given to every writer hoping to capture the moments of life with verisimilitude and exacting detail. A painter who tells the same kind of stories, Andrew Ringler anchors each work deep in his vivid, heartily subjective recollections of its subject, which he enjoys publishing and even more, sharing in person.

Mudman, Oil on Canvas,72 x 36 inches
But what about the viewer? When we approach a work of art, don’t we demand an experience based upon what we see? It’s the reason I often think that some artists are better off not “explaining,” especially when they hope someone experiencing the work will want to make it their own.

In the case of Ringler’s art, each piece arrests the viewer, speaking loud and clear, at first sight. Architecture, figure, landscape, animals, all there, but there is also an alchemy revealed through the quirks of each image and the openness of the artist’s mark.

Andrew himself is prone to referring to pieces, even in an exhibition, as being “unfinished.” His ability to deal with this uncertainty is what lets him create work that feels so alive. A foreground appears smeared against the greater, but not crystalline, focus of the rest of the scene? “ I am seeing it from a moving car.” Is the woman happy or sad? “She ‘s leaving town. She has a man waiting for her in Chicago.”

Perhaps an experience Ringler can identify with since relocating from his small home town in Ohio to Miami. But the spirit of the place and its people has never left him, and they continue to provide the basis of what has grown to be an addictively engrossing body of work – you want to see more and more.

Wise beyond his 30 years (and he’s been painting well for many of them), Ringler  knows and portrays every detail of every story he paints, yet with painterly sleight of hand his work compels us to turn the pages of our own memories – everyone who has ever experienced a small town summer, remembers a high school friend, or wondered if that house on the  hill was haunted will see, feel and hear the echoes of those experiences in his paintings. The more he reveals his memories, the more they evoke our own.

High Voltage, Oil on Canvas, 72 x36 inches
Images (c) Andrew David Ringler

No comments:

Post a Comment