Artist of the Week

Andrea Crespo

April 17, 2019

Andrea Crespo (b. 1993) lives and works in New York. In his recent practice, Andrea Crespo examines the persistent legacy of spectacularization of certain variations of human experiences. Crespo investigates complex cultural and historical narratives surrounding errant forms of psychological and bodily being. Identity, or errors of identity, have encompassed Crespo’s practice, though he has also focused on the connections of psychopathological realities, cultural formations and digital communities associated with them. His body of works range across video and sound installations, prints, and drawings.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

I am 25 years old and from Miami, Fl. I’ve been making art most of my life though there have been some pauses. During most of the time I’ve been participating in the art world, I’ve been known as transgender but that is no longer the case; I returned to the Catholic faith concurrent to these changes. I’m still working through these transformations and excited to see how they will impact my art making.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on?

I recently debuted a new body of work at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler in Berlin in an exhibition titled “Step Right Up”. This project feels transitional to me and something I chose to do as I was going through lots of changes. Most of my previous work was centered around personal experience and my identity, but given that these were in flux, it was a great opportunity to look outside myself and do something that is more of a “research project”. This new work addresses the dehumanizing cultural construction of the “freak” as applied to human persons who have bodily or behavioral differences that are prone to being spectacularized in such a way.

What does your process typically look like?

My process has been changing so it’s hard to pin down what it looks like. I think one consistent pattern I could speak in wall-works is that I tend to focus on image-making first and then develop a sort of sculptural framing device out of that as well as a print substrate that suits it if need be. For my audiovisual works I tend to like to improvise as I go though I have planned and scripted a work beforehand once.

Your work seems a lot about storytelling. Why is this important to you?

I think that storytelling is an effective way to convey truths in a way that is intuitive for myself as well as viewers. I can be quite literal in my thinking and I think that is a part of it. I can’t deny that Christian art, which is heavy in storytelling, has been a great influence for me; this was true even before I returned to practicing my faith.

What do you want a viewer to walk away with after seeing your work?

I would like viewers to walk away attuned to the nuances and complexities of what I am addressing, to open their eyes to a perspective and reality they perhaps were not aware of or had dismissed previously. Perhaps, as well, viewers could simply tune into an aspect of human experience for contemplation and reflection.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

I tend to connect to works by Ed Atkins, Jasper Spicero, Bunny Rogers, Mark Rothko (Rothko Chapel, mainly), St. Hildegard of Bingen (her music in particular), Early Flemish painters (Memling, Van Eyck, Bosch), William Kirelek, Willie Young, Andy Warhol, Alberto Giacometti.

What is your favorite thing about living in NYC?

I love being able to walk and take the train everywhere. There are also many opportunities to meet people even when you are a bit of a shut-in like me.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

It’s not exactly “advice” but it is to love God and neighbor.

Do you collect anything?

No, though that sounds like a great use of my obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

What is one thing you always consider when installing your work?


What are your goals for 2019? 

Psychological and spiritual healing are priorities for me. Since things have been in flux for me I’ve been having a hard time settling into a productive path with my art and I would like figure that out.