David Onri Anderson Explores the Rich Symbolism of Fruits

A banana already exists as something to you — it’s the basis of a pratfall, it’s phallic, it’s breakfast. The same goes for an egg — it’s a thing to throw at someone’s house, it’s a life-bearing vessel, it’s breakfast. And then, of course, there is the apple, a hieroglyph for love that appears in so many poems and songs. William Butler Yeats counted the passing of happy, love-filled days as “the silver apples of the moon, the golden apples of the sun.” In the Bible’s Song of Solomon, one lover begs another, “Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples.”

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"Symbols and Archetypes at Vanderbilt

This section also features a pair of works by Nashville-based painter David Onri Anderson. Anderson’s abstract still lifes of oriental lanterns, bananas, and apples have made him one of Nashville’s break-out young artists. Working prolifically, Anderson has already found a recognizable style, but some viewers may struggle to see beyond the repetitiveness in his work. Thankfully, curator Emily Weiner recognized the spiritual undercurrents in Anderson’s paintings and rightly included them here. (A solo exhibition of Anderson’s paintings is also on view at David Lusk Gallery in Nashville through October 26, when he will be joined by Weiner for a public conversation at the gallery.) Snail E.S.P. and Super Ripe Nana Spiral both depict naturally occurring spiral forms found throughout nature and art history. The “E.S.P.” reference in one title recalls a nineteenth-century theory that snails became telepathically linked after mating. Sex, nature, art and spirit—these patterns all come together through Anderson’s muted palette and charmingly offhand renderings.

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Ageless Images

The psychologist Carl Jung posited the existence of the collective unconscious, a deep layer of the psyche that is shared by all humanity across time. The dynamics of the collective unconscious, which he called archetypes, find narrative expression in myths and visual expression in symbols.

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20 Questions with David Onri Anderson

When I was about 4 years old, I remember seeing a puddle and imagining a little world in that puddle with these little green floating creatures that have purple crafts that help them float around. I made little drawings of this idea with markers.

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Life After Life

Crawl Space: October 2019

David Onri Anderson is an emerging Nashville artist who’s been ticking a lot of boxes this year: His September 2018 display at Elephant Gallery was reviewed in Art in America by Scene arts editor Laura Hutson Hunter, and shortly after, he made his Los Angeles gallery debut at Patrick Painter.

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Nashville artist explores ugly truths about slavery in David Lusk exhibit

There is nothing whitewashed about Ashley Doggett’s depictions of the slave experience. Provocative, haunting, and at times surreal, the black Nashville artist doggedly defies the sanitized revisionism to which the long history of African American trauma has been subjected. The result is a form of what she calls “aesthetic protest” against the myths that litter American history.

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Carlyle Wolfe in Her Own Words


Three of the paintings in this exhibition are based on a color experience in the gardens at the Dixon last fall that I found spectacular.

warm, late afternoon light + goldening foliage + deep neutral violet grasses + zinnia gradients from oranges to pinks to violets + warm white fragrant roses + cypress olive greens + soft coral angel trumpets

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Interview with Julian Rankin, Director of the Walter Anderson Museum of Art

First and foremost, I would like to thank you again for your time and agreeing to participate in an interview with me about Carlyle Wolfe and her work. Wolfe provided me with your email saying that you would be an ideal person to reach out too and interview as you have become familiar with her work. I am glad Wolfe suggested this, as you are the Director of the Walter Anderson Museum of Art (WAMA), in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, but especially because of a quote of yours I found in an article announcing your directorship of WAMA:

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