Andrew Lincoln Nelson | Surreal Machine Creatures

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About Andrew Lincoln Nelson

Andrew Lincoln Nelson, grown up in Laramie WY, is an artist that currently works in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Biology, maths and artificial intelligence are his main source of inspiration, while his tool are surrealistic graphite drawings and mixed-media abstracts. His drawings are a representation of machine creatures with a background that may often resemble Arizona’s landscapes. 

He has exhibited at the University of Arizona and the Arts Speak event at the Tucson Museum of Art. His work has been used in popular/scientific presentations, including a recent TED talk, written up in The NAP Snapshot, and Artifact, the online arts journal of the University of the Arts London.

Andrew Lincoln Nelson Andrew Lincoln NelsonAndrew Lincoln Nelson

Hello Andrew. When or how have you understood you wanted to become an artist?

I have done artwork since childhood. I pursued fine art drawing for the last ten years. Before that I was working in academic research.

Can you briefly tell us about your technique and what drives you to make art?

I use traditional graphite pencil drawing techniques but the subjects of my drawings are semi-surrealistic versions of life that might exist in the future or on exp-planets. I use only hand techniques and employ only geometric and analogue calculations for composition and study. The work includes many references to the research fields of artificial life, Zeno-biology and evolutionary computation. In addition, I include an element of landscape rendering with detail level near that of the central focus of each work.

What is the main feature that has changed in your works or practice throughout the years?

Throughout the years the detail and rendering of my work has moved toward realism, with a move away from schematic line-based drawings and toward light/shadow definition, planar projection, consistent field-of-view and space-filling techniques.

Andrew Lincoln NelsonAndrew Lincoln Nelson

Which artist primarily inspires your work? And is there something else, outside visual arts, that keeps you motivated?

Although it seems insular, I avoid studying past or contemporary art and find that I am better able to see into other worlds if I can clear my mind of current and passed ideas. This bares a slight resemblance to the concept of the beginners mind, but ultimately stems from my own inability to tell the difference between what I am seeing through my own eyes, and what I am seeing through the eyes of others. That said though… Escher, Hieronymus Bosch, H R Giger, Roger Dean were all childhood favorites.

How would you like people to engage with your work?

I like people to view my work without many preconceptions about the subject matter. The work is meant to convey a visceral impression of looking at something that is not familiar and that isn’t part of the human sphere. The feeling or sense of complexity is something like a mental flavor or an emotional experience, and my work is intended to draw that out. Also, it is my intent that the viewer speculate about the origins and purpose of the creatures in my drawings, and perhaps to take note of the austere nearly lifeless environments they inhabit. There are many concepts from biology, evolutionary theory, Zeno-biology and post-technological life embedded in my work, but I do not intend the viewers to be overtly aware of these influences per se.

Andrew Lincoln NelsonAndrew Lincoln Nelson Andrew Lincoln Nelson Andrew Lincoln Nelson

Spread the word! Do you have anything exciting on the horizon?

A work of mine will be presented at the Contemporary Surrealism exhibit in Sedona Arizona. 

To follow or discover more about Andrew’s work, go here:

facebook – instagram– nelson robotics website – national arts program




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