We all have one. The hometown is a place as specific as a fingerprint. It is not a label on anyone else’s map, but an absurd personal atlas. It is built not of mythologies, great heroes or saints, but of small ghosts: people and places remembered, our unique relationships to them and the way they shape us. I can only see mine if I stand back a few thousand miles. Some things are so large that they can only be assessed in fragments. I comb through remembered details, some still sharp: the taste of wildfire carried on a Santa Ana wind; the sting of saltwater on scraped knees. Vivid suggestions of the familiar come into focus, while distance fuzzes the specifics of who and when. Paint and poetry reconstruct bold, essential details of people and places and things known by heart, but fail to remember their names. These faceless objects are not mine alone. Though the experience is singular, the intimacy of these relationships is universal.
Olivia Andrews (b. 1995) was raised in northern Los Angeles, CA. In 2017 she graduated from New York University with a BFA in Studio Art, and a minor in Computer Programming. Andrews’s work has been featured at 80WSE Gallery, the Commons and Rosenberg Galleries, NYU Cantor Film Center, Broadway Windows, and the High Line. In 2016 she curated a group exhibition at the Morris-Jumel Mansion Museum in Washington Heights. Andrews currently lives and works in New York City.