Andy McIntosh, born 1969 Perth, Scotland
Andy McIntosh was born in Perth, Scotland in 1969. Growing up in Perth, Andy first exhibited at the Perth Art Festival at age 16. Having sold half of the works exhibited, he felt he was destined for a career in art. However, he decided to take the “sensible” route after graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 1991, and became a graphic designer rather than taking the fine art route. In the end, it wasn’t a bad decision – he embarked on a successful 20-year career working in digital design and production, as well and film and television.
In 2005, Andy decided that he had waited too long to move fine art into centre stage in his life and started working on the first of many exhibitions. Since then, he has exhibited widely in Edinburgh, showing regularly with the Scottish Society of Artists, and as part of the Royal Scottish Academy’s Open Exhibitions. In 2014 he exhibited at the Yosifu Contemporary Arts Centre in Taiwan. In 2015, graduate filmmaker Michal Korzonek made a short film about Andy’s career, entitled ‘Green with Orange.’ View the video here >
Commissions have included a centre-piece for Perth Museum and Art gallery in 2015 and a foot (leg) sculpture for Abbeyhill Footcare earlier this year.
Inspired by artists like Kurt Schwitters and Marcel Duchamp, Andy McIntosh explores the possibilities for recycling and renewal in found objects and scrap. His work presents the “readymade” from a 21st century perspective.
“I am a painter and I nail my pictures together.”
Kurt Schwitters, 1926
Andy launched his Art career as a conventional landscape painter. In 2005 he made the decision to give himself a new, challenging set of parameters – without brushes, paint or canvases. Approaching the problem of commercial waste culture with postmodern humour, Andy began to comb scrap yards and beaches. Exploring the relationship, between natural and unnatural, he discovered objects and remnants that suggested narratives, and thus his unique sculptural language was created.
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 his works allow the inherent appeal of a pre-used material to shine through, others, like cubic bales of crushed coke cans (see ’Fields’), are there to make us think about the sheer volume of rubbish that we produce and are being forced to take responsibility for.
Placed in the gallery context, 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 his 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, Andy has invented new techniques including one he calls Concrete Printing (see ‘Cactus’). This process, discovered partly 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. These works were made from driftwood, acorns, and pebbles, still all collected from Scotland and again arranged to create landscapes. Reminiscent of Andy Goldsworthy’s ability to find and present the narrative that emits from a natural object, these works are imbued with a sense of place.
The majority of his back catalogue are wall mounted works but his latest offerings are free-standing. Using a fine balance of natural and unnatural materials, he is exploring anatomy and the human form with a unique series of sculptures.