Andrea’s paintings reference diverse visual traditions including African textiles, urban fashion and geometric abstraction. Inspired by the NYC subway graffiti movement, Andrea has completed five cement truck murals that can be seen driving around the New York metro area. Photos: Kyle Dorosz
What is your relationship to Osei-Duro?
In 2008/9 I was living in Ghana- studying beads, painting murals and designing textiles for Akosombo Textile Limited. I think Molly spotted one of my murals in the Ghanaian neighborhood of Maamobi, and contacted me about the art and textile scene in Accra. Ever since I’ve loved following Osei-Duro’s work and enjoy our shared love of color, pattern and the Ghanaian spirit!
What do you do? How did you get started?
I am an artist. I make paintings on different supports using varied materials- silk, cement truck barrels, canvas, UV sensitive dyes, acrylic paint, color pencils. I got started like most artists, as a kid.
Where do you find inspiration?
Africa!!! And my fellow artists.
What’s a favorite Osei-Duro piece in your wardrobe and why?
I travel everywhere with my Primus Bogolan Bag! It’s simple, beautiful design mixing mudcloth with nice leather. Perfect size for so many things.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up and stretch in my studio, water my plants, make coffee and clean. I make lists constantly. Eventually by the afternoon, I start calming down and ease my way into painting. I work until 9 or 10pm, eat a late dinner with Joe Ballweg, play with our cat and go to bed.
How does the city you live in influence your creativity?
NYC is full of creative people. It’s also super diverse. I love getting lost in Harlem markets, biking past Bushwick graffiti and taking note of street styles on the M train.
What advice do you have to offer someone who is just starting out?
Don’t be afraid to let things get weird. Find out what it means for you to work smart, not hard.
Is there any music you’re loving right now?
Kendrick Lamar, Nirvana, Om, and Trees Mix by EJ Hauser on spotify.
Recommend something to us!
“My Dinner with Andre” or for more low-brow, “Basketball Wives LA”
Is there a memorable occasion or story where you’ve worn our clothing?
Simple pleasures! Biking around the city with artist Joy Curtis in matching Osei Duro pants, yarn tops and summer jams playing.
Andrea Bergart lives and works in Ridgewood, Queens. She received her BFA from Skidmore College and her MFA from Boston University. In 2009, Bergart received a Fulbright Scholarship to Ghana, West Africa, to study textile design and bead making. Most recently, she completed a residency through the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Sinthian, Senegal.