Andrew Miguel Fuller: “New Semi-miraculous Language Emerges”

Artist name: Andrew Miguel Fuller

Featured Works:


Andrew Miguel Fuller produces delicate and organic creations with hard, unlikely materials. His explorations of living forms come into existence through painstaking struggle and care, which is probably part of what makes them so relatable, beautiful, and moving. They have both a sense of tenderness and stringent hardiness.

Additional Featured Works:

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5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is art to you?

When we give meaning to a particular jumbling together of colored oils, carved branches, hammered metal, or whatever other banal thing we can manipulate, we call it art. Jean Genet, in Our Lady of the Flowers, describes sculpture: “Just a hole with any old thing around it. A pretty shape, like the plaster head of Marie-Antoinette and the little soldiers, which were holes with a bit of thin lead around them”  and he’s not wrong.

Art is as much about the space it fills as the precise mix of WhateverItHappensToBeMadeOf. Art matters because we believe it does. In our willingness to believe this new semi-miraculouslanguage emerges  is created and constantly re-created through use. It’s a language in which speaker and listener play nearly equal roles in what’s said and what’s heard. Through art, we can have a conversation in abstraction, in gut feeling, in symbol and experience.

2. What did you make in the past, and why?

Having little formal art training to speak of, my entry to art production was through working in other artists’ studios. Of course, if you’re somebody who needs help in your studio, you’re probably working on something big – something you can’t do on your own. The pieces I cut my teeth on were monumental, often kinetic, interactive sculptures. My role was pretty industrial: operating heavy equipment during installation; and everything from metal work to pouring industrial polymers/plastics in the studio. Teams I worked with were anywhere from a handful of professional metalworkers to groups of hundreds of volunteers, eager to lend a hand and learn along the way.

3. What are you making now, and why?

I’m making things from lots of smaller things. I’m interested in sculptures that don’t have a clear inside and outside, or that convey subtlety through materials that don’t seem like they would be capable of it. For example, I’ve just finished up a series of delicately (and painstakingly!) shaped human figures from beer bottle caps, that have been sewn together by hundreds of feet of thin steel wire. There’s really nothing about bottle caps that make you think: “soft, delicate, human,..” Smoothed together into a back, an arm, a hip – they’re totally transformed. I’ve had multiple people mistake one particular sculpture, a full-sized figure of a sitting woman, for a stretching model. What’s amazing is that the piece isn’t – and wasn’t intended to be – especially realistic but the impression it gives is of a strange kind of warmth.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

The assemblage found-object artwork has begun giving way to fabricated and cast metal sculptures. The inherent strength in metal work allows for a lot more flexibility. The pieces can be larger, can have much smaller points where they anchor to the ground, and they’re generally just a lot hardier.

I’m interested in translating the sensibility and feeling of the found-art pieces into public artwork. The potential for artwork in the public sphere to totally transform the places where we live our lives is something that I’m very interested in exploring. Also, I’m trying to orchestrate a transplant to Europe. So ideally those things would go together!

5. What else would you like to say?

It’s very hip to wax apocalyptic about the current state and future of art and the art world. Of course, ask google for “contemporary art” and your heart is bound to sink. The ease with which we can find overly ironic or corporate-feeling pop art, though, doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of people making brilliant work. And frankly, you don’t even have to look very far to find it. Great things are happening. I just hope people are willing to pay attention to it.

It’s a shame that it’s so rare for an artist to hear from or have the chance to interact with their “audience.” It’s interesting how such personal work is often shown virtually anonymously. On that note, I’m easy to get ahold of if you want to reach out!

Artist Supplied Background:

Oakland, California-based artist Andrew Miguel Fuller makes sculpture using unconventional materials and processes. Motivated by the belief that everything that the human hand or mind touches becomes a reflection of us, his work is an exploration of the interconnection between man and the world. Known for its understated intricacy, his work is often built from a collection of many smaller parts, pieced together in heavy repetition.

You can follow his work on Facebook and Instagram.

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5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers

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