Born 1974 in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Lives and works in Portland, Maine

Year created:
Andy Rosen, David, 2013

Andy Rosen, David, 2013.

Click images for larger view

78” x 64” x 48” overall

wood, bolts, asphalt shingles, paint, teddy bear eyes
Courtesy of the artist
Exhibit Date: 
On View Nov 17, 2014 - Nov 01, 2015

Drawing from the tradition of New England folk sculpture as well as his own boyhood toys, Andy Rosen makes work that plays on nostalgic ideas about the wilderness and its inhabitants while also examining our complicated relationship to the natural world. David, a 7-foot black bear with a coat made from shingles and tar paper, continues this investigation. The bear is a tribute to the Biblical story of David and Goliath, where the underdog, David, defeats a giant Philistine warrior, Goliath, with a single stone and sling. Accordingly, Rosen’s David rises tall near a pile of carved wooden stones, with a small stone in his arched right paw. He stands alone looking skyward, primed to fight whatever may come his way.

Often taking folklore and fairytales as a starting point, Rosen is interested in examining, and challenging, how these traditions portray wildlife as majestic, peaceful, and unaffected by human activity. As such, many of Rosen’s sculptures depict animals that are clearly adapting to a contemporary landscape, one that has been altered by human industry and desires.

David, constructed from found wood, asphalt shingles, and hardware and driveway sealer, references this changing landscape. The sculpture was commissioned by SPACE Gallery in Portland, Maine and made during Rosen’s residency at the Community Recycling Center in Scarborough, Maine. There, he set up his studio adjacent to the area where suburban residents drop off their household debris, construction scraps, and lawn clippings. While Rosen’s works exude a childlike imaginativeness in their use of found materials and often imprecise construction, they also ask us to seriously consider our own biases about nature: How do we conceive of nature’s role? Do animals exist for our benefit? Do they think like we do?

Andy Rosen received his BFA from Alfred University and his MFA from the University of Iowa. His work has been featured in exhibitions nationally and internationally including at the Portland Museum of Art, ME; Tacoma Museum of Art, WA; PULSE Contemporary Art Fair, Miami; Tetra Projects, Mytilene, Greece; and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, ME. Rosen currently lives and works in Portland, ME, where he teaches at the University of New England, Biddeford, and the Southern Maine Community College.