Back Talk: A Conversation with Esao Andrews

January 03, 2012
Esao Andrews is set to open a new body of work, Nowhere, at Thinkspace Gallery this Saturday, January 7th. We sat down and talked to the fine artist about buying a car, why restaurants get his orders wrong, and how the first 15 minutes of Up destroyed him.

1. One reason you make art:
Trying to impress/worry friends and strangers.

2. The last good movie you saw:
The Walking Dead show is coming along nicely if that counts.  The first 15 minutes of Up destroyed me.

3. Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to:
Buy my first car.


4. Favorite country or city visited:
I spent a summer in Okinawa, Japan when I was a kid, the whole time just collecting bugs, lizards and mollusks from the beach. Went to Barcelona a few years ago, incredible place.

5. A few words that sum up your philosophy on life:
I hate to say it, but the one I've been practicing is "wake up late, stay up late."


6. Something you want the world to know about you:
At restaurants my order usually comes out wrong. I never make special requests and it happens so often that I just eat what I get. If you eat with me a few times, you'll see.

7. Something that annoys or frustrates you about people:
When people cut in line.

8. Something that concerns you:
Birds falling out of the sky. Toddlers in Tiara's. Pizza sauce being considered a veggie serving. Soybean dragging his butt on the carpet.


9. Artists you admire:
So many, but I'll single out a few people that I admire for having multiple creative outlets and/or have a diverse sense of merging concept with craft. Peter Callesen, Chris VanGaalen, Arthur Ganson, Fons Schiedon, Marlo Meekins.

10. Favorite quote(s):
Under promise, over deliver.

11. The first record or CD you ever bought? The last album you downloaded?
Appetite For Destruction by Gn'R. Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys


12. Something you do when you’re procrastinating?
Rhymes with procrastinating.

13. What is your most defining characteristic?
Probably how I drop off the face of the Earth for months to years at a time among people I know and am a horrible self-promoter.  Those are New Years resolutions I look forward to turning around.

14. What is your greatest fear?
Besides normal stuff like death, disease, or being dependent;  it's ants, I'm really afraid of ants.


15. The moment you realized you were an ‘artist’:
I'd been art making all of my life, but when I was doing a Halloween poster a several years ago from my friends restaurant and I was laying out some text, I really felt like a capable professional.  That feeling is in constant flux.

16. Your greatest quality:
Being nice and helpful to strangers.

17. Something you wish you could change or alter about yourself:
My posture.

18. What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and was it worth it?
This may be more reckless than taking a risk, but when i was in high school Mesa, AZ, the only college I applied to was SVA in New York and I was only going to be able to go if I received a scholarship. Luckily it all worked out, I would have just taken some classes at a community college otherwise.  SVA was going through a renaissance of talent during those years I was there and I think that being around those driven students really made it all the more worthwhile.


19. Something you wish you had known five years ago:
The artwork will not speak for itself.  You have to.

20. What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years of your life?
I'll definitely have my first book out by then. The surreal paintings I've come to be known for are just part of what I want to do. I'm feeling comfortable that i can start incorporating other projects as an extension of my body of work whether it be animation, film, photos, objects etc...  Also I plan on exploring more series based projects rather than my usual stand-alone scene/portait paintings.

(Read our Back Talk with Allison Sommers, showing in Thinkspace's Project Room, the same time as Esao.)

Esao Andrews


Reception with the artist:

Sat, Jan. 7th 5-8PM

On view: Jan. 7th - Jan. 28th, 2012

Thinkspace Gallery

Culver City, California