“This is Jake Masters. He’s a part-time con man who works as a private investigator somewhere in Los Angeles.” With a novelist’s eye for detail, Andrew Bixler (b. 1981) creates colored pencil and ink portraits of willowy characters accompanied by a brief explanatory text, like the one quoted above. His direct statements of fact turn the outrageous in to the everyday, as Vikings, tree surgeons, magicians, the famous and the infamous all make an appearance. Bixler’s line is free flowing yet assured, and his palette is spare but energetic, seen most often in his portraits and his drawings of groups of objects (coffee cups, lemons, sunglasses) situated against a plain background. The kernel of an entire world, like the beginning of a novel, can be imagined through his drawings and texts, which most often commence with “This is…” or “Here we have…” followed by an invented proper name.
A man of many talents, he also plays the piano and clarinet, Bixler’s practice is split between drawing and sculpture. His ceramic pieces take the form of his portraits with loosely worked, expressive proportions; while his renderings of animals in wire, accented with fabric and found objects, offer a beautiful, spectral counterpoint. A San Francisco native, Bixler has been a Creativity Explored artist since 2006.