In a world now dominated by 3-D movies, CGI and video game realism, Scott Anderson is the kind of artist who is able to capture that same real-life and yet surreal quality in his own work – and thus creating a dichotomy in style that is both unique and commonplace. His paintings rely heavily on recognizable, realistic elements like pools of water, trees, and airy backdrops, but Anderson fills them in with robotic figures, technicolor lighting and futuristic structures and faces, thus rendering the familiar setting strange. If The Fifth Element’s set designer needed artwork, Anderson would have been the man for the job.
Each painting offers a one-way ticket to a vibrant, diverse and busy world where a riot of color is used to capture realistic subjects in an unreal way. Turtles have bionic legs and orange faces, perfectly round orbs hover for no reason, and military tank-cum-sea creatures loom heavily in the foreground. We’re not really sure what is going on, but we want to look longer, study the finer details of a small rainbow cast in the light; a tiny girl-child dwarved in the shadow of a mechanical beast; a silver zeppelin tucked in like an afterthought (leaving us wondering if it’s just really, very small or if the world around it is just that big.). We don’t know, but in not knowing, we look harder. Anderson’s paintings are like a hidden object puzzle in reverse; you find the object first, and then you start to make sense of the picture.
©W. Laurie Ewer