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Meet Andrew Gray

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Gray.

Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?
Believe it or not, I wanted to be a magician when I was younger. I was obsessed with card tricks and illusionists. At some point in my early years, I visited a local museum and was amazed by how realistic the works looked compared to real life, and I began looking at artists similar to magicians. Because I always wanted to make magic, this sparked my early interest in making art. I started taking art more seriously during high school and applied to Maryland Institute College of Art, where I got my BFA in 2018. I later was recognized by the gallery Band of Vices in Los Angeles, which now represents my work, and hosted my debut solo show last April.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I initially thought I would primarily be a graphic designer making paintings on the side, but once I got a design job, I quickly noticed how much time I didn’t have to create artworks. There’s no manual to being an artist, and it takes a lot of work and confidence to make it your primary source of income. I decided to save up a couple of months worth of rent and become a full-time artist. It wasn’t easy, and I eventually had to find a part-time job, but it led to my relationship with the gallery that currently represents my work. I am now able to make a living from my artwork.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a figurative artist. I am known for creating vivid, mundane scenes of characters I’ve met or collaged together using thick layers of paint to accentuate the colors and process. My paintings promote a sense of prosperity, contradicting the common societal narratives of black people shown in our community.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I feel like I’ve received equal amounts of luck on both ends of the spectrum, so they cancel themselves out. It’s life, a lot of ups and downs.

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