“I am a painter and I nail my pictures together.”
Kurt Schwitters, 1926
Inspired by artists like Kurt Schwitters and Marcel Duchamp, Andy explores the possibilities for recycling and renewal in found objects and scrap. His work presents the “readymade” from a 21st century perspective.
While Andy’s work isn’t directly political, one can’t escape the allusion to the 20 million tonnes of commercial waste that are generated each year in Scotland alone. While some of McIntosh’s works allow the inherent appeal of a pre-used material to shine through, others, like cubic bales of crushed coke cans, are there to make us think about the sheer volume of rubbish that we produce and are being forced to face up to.
Originally a traditional landscape painter, Andy took a fork in his artistic path in 2005, setting a challenging series of parameters for his practice. He would continue to make paintings, only without brushes, paints or canvas. He began to form assemblages from scrap metal, letting the patina, textures and wear inherent in the materials speak for themselves.
Placed in the gallery context, and sometimes elevated by frames, scrap objects begin to take on characters of their own. This is a phenomenon which Andy uses to approach the problem of commercial waste with a certain postmodern humour. Reminiscent of the early pop sensibilities of Rauschenberg and Peter Blake, one of McIntosh’s works involves a discarded hot water tank, rusty and with its paint flaking off, entitled “So Long and Thanks For All The Hot Water”.
Still working with technical materials, the artist has invented a new technique – concrete printing. This process, discovered by accident, involves images printed onto acetate transferred onto a concrete surface, which absorbs the ink. This results in a 2-D image which is something of an industrial fresco for the 21st century.
More recently, Andy has begun to take his scavenging urge to wilder places, and to bring natural materials into his assemblages. His latest works are made from driftwood, acorns, and pebbles, still all collected from Scotland and again arranged to create landscapes. Reminiscent of Georgia O’Keefe’s ability to find and present the narrative that emits from a natural object, these works are imbued with a sense of place.