Andrew Abbott

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The paintings of Andrew Abbott run a broad, beautiful range of darkness and humor. Several of his paintings remind me of Picasso: “Say No to Durgs” [sic] has all the conflict and chaos of “Guernica,” for example. Others, with their ripe-red color and self-affliction, or even mysterious “Mounds,” feel like Louise Bourgeois.

But Abbott’s own spectrum of anguish displays a deep conflict about drug use and mortality; in some works he uses a rainbow of bright pastel colors to depict playful, strange anatomy, bodily excretions, or just the flush of life on George Washington’s cheeks. But in an instant about-face, Abbott’s hues can shift to grays and browns—stonelike, especially in the mass burial “Corpulence.”

His work straddles the deadly serious and sad to a certain absurdist humor—a lightness that seems to stand up against, and safely balance, the gravity of the rest. Take a look:

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Julie Greicius was Art Editor for The Rumpus when it launched in January 2009. One year later, she became Senior Literary Editor and is now Senior Features Editor. Julie also co-edited the first book published by The Rumpus, Rumpus Women, Vol. 1, featuring personal essays and illustration from twenty kick-ass contributors. Her writing been featured on The Rumpus, Midnight Breakfast, Stanford Medicine Magazine, and BuzzFeed, as well as in the anthology The 27th Mile. She lives in California. More from this author →