Visual Artist Andrew Fansler Interview: Is Art Rewarding? by Blake Tesh

Andrew Fansler is a visual artist living in Winston-Salem, NC. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina Asheville in 2005, and his MFA from the University of Chicago in 2010; however, I know him as a professional student of the Mystery Schools. I recently sat down with Andrew on a flower-laden balcony at the Wherehouse Art Hotel (where his art work will be showing until June 3rd) to chat about the importance of imagination, the psychic availability of his work, and, obviously, shapes and colors.

Blake Tesh: Does imagination have boundaries?

Andrew Fansler: I don’t think so. However, I do think we may be stuck in a process of locking up imagination by putting restrictions on it, as well as framing the world at large; how we grew up, how we live, and what we are expected to do and think. Humanity’s potential for re-expanding back into a primal imagination is totally feasible, but we must imagine our way outside the boundaries as individuals and as a collective consciousness.

BT: Is art rewarding?

AF: Absolutely! I mean, it kind of fills in the gaps in between all the necessary “stuff.” It’s important to cultivate a sense of fulfillment and, in that respect, I definitely find it rewarding to make something out of nothing and step back from it and realize it’s larger than the thing you’ve created—larger than the idea you’ve intended to create.

BT: Are you ever surprised by your conceptual process?

AF: It surprises me, definitely, when I put together work for a show like this. Everything comes into the same room and you start to see the common denominator between each piece’s relationship with the other. It forms a more cohesive and conceptual framework for the overall mission of the work at hand.

BT: How can art be psychic?

AF: There’s so many examples. I think one of the cool things about art—especially from the way I work—being an individual, creating something that may mean a certain perspective to me, from someone else’s perspective on that same work can altogether shift around the meaning of the object. Artwork doesn’t necessarily predict the future, but is more of a lightning rod.
It’s valuable in the way we all connect to the world. A catalyst for a certain idea that may be perceived by different people in different ways. For example, I’ve extracted a lot of interesting information hearing about what other people have seen in a certain piece of work, which adds to the content of the whole idea.

BT: If you had to rate your work on a scale of psychic availability from 0% to 100%, where would it register?

AF: I would hope to be in the mid-90s—especially some of the early works. The newer works are less an apparatus for that, and more of a depiction on what you can bring back from the ethereal and psychic realms, which can only be activated when you observe it. The audience is a crucial component to psychic connectivity and ethereal activation.

BT: At what point in your life did you know there was no turning back?

AF: [Laughs] In high school my art teacher, Mr. Spangler, walked up to me one day and said, “You know, you could do this, you could just make stuff. You could just do that.” I was confused at first, after a time excited, and then at some point in college I just decided that’s what I have to do.

BT: I’m just assuming there is no turning back—is there?

AF: [Long pause] No. [Laughs]

BT: Please fill in the blank: When I’m not thinking about shapes and colors I’m ____.

AF: I’m probably thinking about structural things—and laughs.

BT: True or False: You are what you eat.

AF: True.

BT: Fake it till you make it.

AF: False.

BT: An eye for an eye.

AF: False.

BT: Who needs weapons? We have art!

AF: True.

BT: Imagination is more important than knowledge.

AF: That’s a tough one. I can’t answer that either way.

BT: If we pooled our resources, we could create a device powerful enough to destroy our sun.

AF: True.

BT: I am a normal person.

AF: False.

BT: Humanity is doing great!

AF: False.

BT: Gravity is the most powerful force in the universe.

AF: False.

BT: Nothing can move faster than photons in a vacuum.

AF: I’m no scientist, I can’t answer that.Photography by Morgan Jenea

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