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Andrew Purchin / Statement

How can the canvas be the loving awareness that holds struggle and joy and everything in between?  

I’m a citizen artist and a creative witness to events, both benign and terrible.  Yesterday’s celebration can be combined with today’s disaster.

I explore the frontier, the edge of intimacy or conflict.  I go on pilgrimages where I’m the plein-air painter, the prophet or the fool in the midst of some devotion.  I collaborate with the public and with other artists from lands afar. 

I explore art-making as an embodied spiritual practice and as a means of democratic participation.  This endeavor has led to journeys and collaborations with the public in places such as Pakistan, the Republican and Democratic political conventions and US Presidential Inaugurations. 

Some kind of calligraphy arrives as I let my brush strokes echo the waves of the sea and the dances of distinct feeling states. 

The resulting work: paintings, scrolls, performances and videos, can be immediate or multilayered as I move through many locations and stories. 

I try to make both the ordinary and the unfathomable my stomping ground. 


—Andrew Purchin, 2018

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