Artist: Andrea Lauren Williams
Media: ceramic, raw clay, cement, mason stain
Gallery: Max L Gatov Gallery East
Andrea Lauren William was born and raised in Riverside, California and has been involved with art and music her entire life. All of her family members were musicians and artists so she grew up loving it. In her early twenties she was a drummer in a band. Her favorite medium to create with is cement because it is easy, however she hates all the toxins that are released working with cement and ceramic because she doesn’t want the toxic materials around her kids. Andrea is an undergraduate since 2012 in the Ceramics department of CSULB’s School of Art. Being a mom is her favorite interest, and she also loves pigs, dogs, chickens, and babies. The work she does focuses on ideas imploring one’s faith and sacrifice.
All of her work appears as if it could belong in a church, and contain biblical elements to reinforce that appearance. The artwork is shaped like tombs and depict images of nude women, a cross, and various sorts of biblical animals and plants (shrubs, sheep, shepherds, etc.). Her work consists of textural and loose, but gestural and “very hand made”. Every piece in her exhibit was a painting, and all the cement and clay used is handmade. She purposefully did not smooth out finger printers in order to elicit texture. It takes her about a week in order to complete a painting, including the process of making cement and clay by hand. She focuses on texture and gesture of the characters, as well as repetition on objects. The paintings are fairly large, approximately seven feet tall, and most included more than one painting, though one was usually smaller.
She stated that her work explores a lot, and is about many different aspects of life, but most focus on one’s faith. Her work explores sacrifice, marriage, Christianity, and faith at a woman’s time. When viewing her work, she wants people to question religion, and question art. Even she asked the question, “Nowadays, what is art?” Andrea seemed like a very honest, religious, and humble person, and it came as no surprise to me when she said that she finds inspiration from her faith. I believe she creates her work from passion for her religion and wants to spread her faith to others. She focuses on women because she is focusing on her personal religious experience in order to find inspiration for her creations. Art and music is a way for her to release emotion and passion into something that people can experience, and is her second-most loved thing on this Earth behind her family.
I grew up deeply involved with the Roman Catholic Church due to my mother and experienced the pathway through the church all the way from Baptism to Confirmation. About seventeen years of my life, once a week I would dress up and go to church with my family to the morning service. This artist’s work resonates with my upbringings in faith, and reminds me of something my mother would buy to hang up in our home. I have always found religious artwork (specifically Christian) to be very interesting and beautiful. Her work is exactly how Christian artwork should look, what with the tombstone shape, earth tone colors, and unfinished clay surface. Sacrifice is one of the most crucial parts of life according to most religions, and this artist intends for viewers to question what is off limits for them. She wants people to question if they are sacrificing too much or too little, for she has struggled with the same question her whole life.