Monday, June 13, 2011

MondayInterviews: Andre Woolery

I initially came across Andre's work on the Complex website. After checking out his art, I knew we had to reach out to him and make this interview happen.
Enjoy! Take notes, valuable lessons to be learned...

Andre Woolery
Erykah Badu
Jay-Z " The Tackover"
Muhammed Ali " Trust The Code"

To learn about me, the art will tell the story...
My art is a reflection of many things. What I value in the world...your mind is the only weapon. Where I receive inspiration...vibrant colors that brighten an environment. My outlook on the world around me...creating order in seeming chaos. A window into my cultural world...a young black experience.

Currently my work is primarily portraits of black icons, which is deliberate. I wanted to challenge myself to create highly recognizable faces with the quality of something digitally produced. There also needs to be more images of black people represented beautifully. I also have a forthcoming street project that these are specifically designed for.

My art also depicts my journey. I am a creative and artistic person, but I never found a real outlet to express myself until 2009. I took a month off from my regular life to explore a few creative endeavors. During this process, I discovered my capacity to make my imagination a reality through the use of light + color + oil paints. I number my paintings by their order of creation, because that really illustrates my progression and helps to keep me striving to keep pushing each piece further than the previous. Every piece is done either late night or weekends so my proliferation is a result of less sleep and less socializing which is why I hold each original tightly. They are all children consummated during times I should be enjoying life and have become expressions of that displaced joy that has been found in doing art.

My art has a distinct style. My style is a deconstruction of light that allows me to breathe structured color into every form. Combining this with graphical elements that express something beyond their physical shapes. My work visually appears close to a digital production while still remaining completely hand crafted. Society is sitting in the middle of digital and traditional worlds and that's where I want my artwork to be positioned. My paintings are "simple seduction". I use simple elements that can convey an immediate message while still offering more if you fully engage. Upon engagement, viewers will be seduced through the use of striking colors, subject matter, and composition. This approach will hopefully bring my art to a broader, unsuspecting audience.

My art is meant to be accessible. I love beautiful images for their power to affect the world that they exist in. Unfortunately the art world has been relegated to a very small part of society. It isn't accessible to the people that need the inspiration most. I have made a conscious effort to sell my art in many formats that allow people to always have access.

Right now I am expressing myself through artwork with continual experimentation of my art style. This journey is iterative and will evolve, but the vision for Andre Woolery Art is to be a place access any of my creative output in whichever form it exists. I want to reach a point where I can have enough demand that my price points can be even more affordable. Being able to place my work in environments that lack the arts to build a community would be ideal. Growing up with exposure to art is crucial in molding a mind to not just consume knowledge and retain it, but also to foster exploratory thinking skills. Skills that equip you to think about life from a unique perspective.

I am ultimately creating things that keep me happy on a very personal level, but the bonus is having my expression connect to more people in the world. Images are powerful and the more positive influence I can foster in the world is all I could ever ask for.

One of the biggest things I've learned through this process of growing as an artist is to always be true to yourself. My art is an expression and extension of who I am so I must always follow my instincts and not deviate from what resonates within my mind and heart. The biggest regrets or near missteps are when I second guessed myself because of outside influence.

Taking a month off from work in 2009. It was an infliction point in my life that redefined how I control and prioritize my life. I created a 30 day regime to explore different activities creatively and intellectually to determine what gave me the most joy. It was the first real step towards artwork and also placed the control back in my own hands.

Yes I work at an advertising agency doing digital marketing. I love my job because it allows me to express myself in similar patterns but with different tools. I have to view technology, communication, and content as an opportunity to reformat and appropriate things specific for brands and their campaign initiatives.


I wish people knew the network of family/friends that have shaped me. I have been blessed with people in my life that are filled with culture, love, and fun. Every person has influenced me in some way and shaped who I am today. Everything I do is to make them proud and support them.


Music is a big passion and is something I can experience passively or actively.

Film is another passion that enables me to enter a world created for me to experience.

Good food is art that blends flavors, textures, colors, and temperatures for your palette instead of your eyes.

Dancing, I love to dance because it is a channel to experience music.

Cleaning sometimes helps me unwind because it's an act of turning chaos into order

Style. Everything should be done with style otherwise you aren’t adding anything unique to the canvas of life.

Family/friends keep me grounded in who I am and what I want to aspire towards.

Laughter. Its addictive and resonates positivity without being intrusive.

Check my schedule for the day. Drink some water. Pee. Turn on some music. Grab clothes, then shower.

Good day/week is combining accomplishment with celebration. Each day I want to make an incremental step toward a specific goal and once has materialized, celebrate in a social manner. Life is about balance.


Chai tea and Special K. I would have preferred ham, egg and cheese on a bagel but I'm trying to be healthier these days. Now that the weather is getting warmer I have to be ready for the beach.



I moved into a new apt that was twice the size of my current one and I had a dedicated space to artwork but the entire space was open like a massive loft. If I stayed asleep longer hopefully a personal chef would have been in the kitchen making me something and a DJ spinning my own personal soundtrack throughout the apt.

Always push positive energy

Thank you for the opportunity to present myself and let people become aware of my artwork. Follow me on twitter @undre2g for my daily rambles, inspiration, and growth as an artist.