Andrew Ross is currently an adjunct professor at Bruce High Quality Foundation School, but when he’s not teaching he’s in his studio working on his playful sculptures. A Cooper Union graduate and Skowhegan fellow, Ross has quickly found an institutional audience for his conceptually driven work, first with the Drawing Center and then the Studio Museum in Harlem.
In your practice, what comes naturally to you and what do you have to force? For me, almost nothing comes naturally, but if I had to say something did I would say color. I force everything else about my work: how it fits into my world view, whether it matters if it fits into my world view, and what that world view is. I force material together and there’s a lot of pushback until the moment that the work solidifies as an image. Color tends to be at least partly incidental while I work.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? The first thing that comes to mind is somebody once told me never to worry about how my work will be received because, “nobody really cares.” It sounds mean at first but it’s really referring to the freedom you have when no one is concerned with what you’re doing.
Do you live with your own work? Would you? No. I would only live with it if I had a lot of space in my apartment. Right now my living space is small and it’s a sleeping, showering, and breakfast-making machine. It has no time (space) for art. But I am not opposed to it and I’m sure one day I will.
Ode to Hans Ulrich Obrist, do you have any unrealized projects? I think my unrealized project is just a spark of an inclination to make a movie. I haven’t worked on one yet, but the idea is brewing. I keep having moving images in my head that I have yet to string together, and fantasizing about making a work that could be distributed in so many different ways and to such a wide audience.
If you are not in the studio where are you? I wander around to mundane places that have little to do with art. There’s something about me that when I do this I always end up in random social interactions with strangers. But I like the feeling of being caught in some unpredictable situation so much that sometimes I seek it out