Visual art can often create a unique intersection between temporality and permanence. Static images are, of course, unchanging and add some level of immortality to moments in time that would otherwise be fleeting. While no piece of art truly lives forever, the practice of creating one might be the single most powerful method for imbuing perpetual life on a scene, being or idea.
Through “Fragile as Fruit,” an exhibition currently on display at David Lusk Gallery, David Onri Anderson plays highlights this intersection. In a series of simple pastel-colored paintings featuring produce and broken eggs, Anderson captures themes as large as the passing of time, the inherent fragility of life and the power of art to bring immortality to otherwise temporal subjects.
“Comprised of paintings on canvas, ‘Fragile as Fruit’ speaks to temporality and decay,” according to press material provided by the gallery. “The common factors [for this show] being the vulnerability of transformation over time, fragility and the potential for consumption.”
In Ancestral Apple Core Unscrolled, Anderson elevates a simple depiction of an apple core, painted with dye made from flowers and herbs, imbuing it with ancient and mythical iconography. The notion that a fruit core could be “unscrolled” to reveal mystically decorated seeds implies an ethereal, timeworn power inherent in the otherwise discarded and forgotten subject. By identifying this ancient power within such an everyday and fragile thing, Anderson strikes a chord that should be felt in every viewer — one that reminds us of our own temporality and the beauty that resides there.
“My goal is to form a path that allows the viewer to enter in a way that unites our experiences without homogenizing our differences, so that there can be an open and clear space where there was none before,” Anderson said in an artist’s statement provided by David Lusk Gallery. “Resisting the spectacle and urging the awareness of our fragile existence, the works emphasize the need to soul search for balance and reciprocity in order to rediscover the self.”
Seen together, the works for “Fragile as Fruit” are a reminder of how much power can reside in the seemingly simple — through the pieces themselves, as well as through the notion that something as basic as visual art can breath life into the humblest of subjects.
Anderson received a bachelor’s in fine art from Watkins College of Art in 2016. His work has been exhibited around the country, including in New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Anderson also runs the Electric Shed arts venue in South Nashville.
The David Lusk Gallery is located at 516 Hagan Street in WeHo.