Digitally Blue: The Reach of Andrew Reach
by Max Eternity____________________________________________________________________
In this AD Mag update we take a look at the work of Ohio artist, Andrew Reach. Reach, who initially began his professional career as an architect, decided in recent years to take a technical leap from blue prints to digital prints.
The creative transformation came as consequence of a physical disorder that prevented Reach from continuing his work in the field as an architect. As a result, since 2005 being “bound” to a chair (as he likes to put it) Reach has taken his modernist interest in buildings and poured it into a signature brand of art, which he calls whimsies.
On his way to becoming an architect, Reach studied at New York’s Pratt School of Art & Design. And at various points in his architectural career, he worked with such notables as Yann Weymouth and Harold Zellman. Reach says he’s grateful for his experiences, having had the opportunity to restore a couple of houses by Lloyd Wright; son to Frank Lloyd Wright. Reach was also directly responsible for the preservation of Wright’s Warwick Evans House and the Jascha Heitz studio, both located in Los Angeles.
“My head was falling off” Reach says of the bone disorder within his spine. Though through it all, the wads of medication–the excruciating pain, Reach has prevailed.
Rising from the ashes of his congenital spinal disease, Reach’s artwork emerges as arrestingly playful–probing the psyche. Some of his work reminds one of cogs rotating on an axis, or perhaps like satellites and planets in orbit.
Reach say’s his work is a celebration of form and color. And some have observed that much of his work seems quilt inspired, as if they were virtual fabrics from indigenous dreams. Of this observation Reach agrees and says “cultures have always expressed themselves through textiles.”
Interestingly, before his forced retirement from architecture, Reach’s last assignment was as a project director for an art museum; the Frost Museum in Miami. He oversaw the building of the site, and says that working with the designer of the museum, renown architect Yann Weymouth of HOK, was a high point in his career. After completing the museum, the Frost family added several of Reach’s prints to their permanent collection. Thus turning proverbial lemons into lemonade, it would seem there’s a silver lining after all.
Coincidence or providence?
“We’re experiencing seminal shifts; in art – the digital age. We’re going to look back and realize that we were at the birth of this time”
“When I began learning Photoshop, and was able to express both the pent up feelings going on inside my head, and the healing process happening inside my body…my earliest works [were] biological meditations on the awareness of these processes”
“I may be boxed in, but I turn that around to create boxed in art”
“As a result of a surgery, something happened. It clicked in my brain–I can be an artist”
“Inventing skeletal structures of my imagination–stripping away the external to reveal mysterious internal…became an exercise in mindfulness”
“At first I thought computer technology would be a hindrance to the kind of stream of consciousness painting that I always admired, however I have found that I can become one with the technology”
“Digital art gets me into a meditative, trance-like state”
AD Mag thanks Andrew Reach for allowing us a generous exploration into his life–physical and spiritual transformation. Be sure to visit Andrew Reach’s homepage by clicking here.Advertisements