Keith O. Anderson
2017 Annual Juried Competition
Inspired by one of the oldest African traditions and art forms, Body painting, this particular ritual is one of several (scarification, deformation of the skull, perforations of the ear, nose, and mouth) that has been perpetuated from generation to generation in the pursuit of beautifying the body and building a link between the natural and spirit worlds. Referencing this act of adorning the body with painted-on small white dots, I spontaneously position 3/8 white circular felt pads on to an isolated area of my bare skin as oppose to mimicking the painting process. The introduction of felt pads, which are traditionally placed underneath the bottoms of furniture pieces, such as chairs and stools to protect hardwood floors from unsightly marks and scratches, enables me to conceptually transfer this idea in application to my bare skin speaking to illustrating intimacy in the ritual. This performance-like ritual is carried out in the privacy of my studio or a designated public space devoid of human activity. I shoot with a manual camera, utilizing solely natural light of the space I inhabit at that moment. Once I’ve deposited the felt pads on to my bare skin, I begin a series of extemporaneous movements; walking, jumping, reclining, pressing against a wall, etc. Throughout this process I am photographing and shooting my body from various angles as I document this ritual.
Keith O. Anderson is a multidisciplinary New York based artist working in photography, sculpture, drawing, installation and performance. A recipient of an Urban Artist Initiative/NYC Fellowship, Anderson attended Parsons School of Design, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. He is a Bronx Museum Artist in the marketplace alum. His exhibitions highlights include: “The Third AIM Biennial,”Bronx Museum of Art, Bronx, NY, FIAC International Art Fair, Galerie du jour, Agnes b., Paris France, Cindy Rucker Gallery, “What Becomes of a Broken Heart,” New York, NY, Rush Arts Gallery, “The Happening: Kinesics as Art Object” New York, NY, Powerhouse Memphis, Everywhere, Nowhere, Somewhere, Memphis TN, Bronx Art Space, “BEAT,” Bronx, NY, Aljira A Center for Contemporary Art “Dreamtime overtones from a fantastic brown planet,” Newark, NJ, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL. His work has been reviewed in HYPERAALERGIC, The Commercial Appeal, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Le Figaro, Time Out Chicago and Time Out New York.
Artist’s website: www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/130651-keith-o-anderson