Andrew Roberts Jarring Work Critiques Capitalism and Over-Consumption
To say that Andrew Robert’s view of the future is bleak would be an understatement. Based in Tijuana, Mexico, this multidisciplinary artist creates pieces that are both reflective and prophetic illustrations of a society that is facing serious issues with overconsumption and overproduction.
Despite only being born in 1995, Roberts has found a unique type of artistic style for himself. Working with digital animation and interactive installations, Robert strives for viewers of his art to be completely submerged into a science-fiction-like future he has dreamed of — one that he believes may become a reality if capitalism's harsh cycle begins to spiral out of control.
Through multiple series he’s created, Roberts focuses on our reliance on corporations, war technology and the entertainment industry and how these three continue to intersect. His work touches on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of Responsible Consumption and Production as well as Decent Work and Economic Growth.
In many of his pieces, Roberts looks at the role of images in society, their effect on our own personal values and how corporations can control this. In one of Robert’s most recent shows, titled ‘We are sorry to notify you that due to the end of the world your package has been delayed,’ Roberts reimagines what the afterlife looks like — imagining that the image of the dead, is used as a commodity.
Robert’s vision of the future has been heavily influenced by the global pandemic and the ‘new normal.’ Roberts told Terremot that he believes humans' closest relationship to reality has been through a screen over the past year and a half.
“We can no longer talk about the image as a medium that represents the world,” Roberts wrote. “Rather, it has become an active agent in the latter’s construction; it operates from and upon our bodies, affects and desires. It transforms and destroys, it is a combination of pixels that mutate flesh.”
The idea that energy and image transform flesh inspired Robert’s more eye-catching work.
Many of Robert’s pieces from 2020 feature dismembered limbs with tattoos of logos of popular brands such as Amazon, Nike, and Chanel.
According to Bernardo Núñez Magdaleno from Terremoto, “The undead in this show have been generated by a computer programmed to resurrect the voices of bodies trapped between the corporate advertisement and the undead. They are the poems, monologues and intimate soliloquies of a cadaverous interiority or the performance that arises post-mortem.”
However, despite a cruel and haunting image of the future - Roberts still believes art like his can incite change.
“Worlds are not only destroyed through fiction, they can also be built,” said Roberts.
Roberts now operates a platform for multidisciplinary Mexican art called Deslave with fellow artist Mauricio Muñoz. According to the site, Deslave consists of curatorial projects, exhibitions, publications and original art created by the founders.