CCS Holiday '23 Collection - Our Biggest Drop Yet

The lunch table at the CCS office can produce a lot of weird conversations on a daily basis. One lunch break, we were all in that time of a normal hang out where everyone is looking down on their phones and no one is talking to each other. That’s when we came across Andre Fortes’ Instagram page in our Buyer Jesse’s feed and we were immediately in love with the paintings and drawings. His artwork on his Instagram feed is a mix between beautifully detailed paints full of texture and color juxtaposed next to drawings of Andre’s stream of thought sketches. Those drawings can range from meme worthy social commentary to comic-like images to striking detailed drawings. We are very excited for him to be a part of our Artist Series and you just might be seeing more collaboration between Andre and CCS in the future.

I got into some of the worst trouble of my life in high school

Who are you and where are you right now?I am Andre Fortes and I am in graduate school for Fine Art in Pullman Washington, but I’m from Portland, Oregon.

What kind of art do you make?I’m a painter and illustrator. I was a musician forever but haven’t played in years because I never got any good at it ha!

How long have you been painting?I’ve been painting in oil for 10 years. I’ve been finger painting for 26.

How did you first get into art?It was something I did in school to help pass the time. I would literally draw sometimes for the entire school day. Portland Public Schools have been suffering for a long time now and no one seemed to notice or care, go figure.

What inspired your drawing we used for the t-shirt?Trump’s insane election. I had some moments immediately after the election where I seriously considered engaging in different forms of direct action, but instead I made illustrations about that feeling, which I suppose is my form of direct action. That drawing seems to reflect how many people turned from identifying as mild democrats to suddenly feeling much more radicalized and engaged. I’ve always had pretty extreme politics but the recent political turn has resurrected many of feelings I had as a teenager living through the Bush years, which I hate.

Do you have a favorite artist that influences your work?Not one but many. But if I had to narrow it down I’d say David Shrigley.

I discovered your work through our Buyer Jesse, he told me stories about you giving him full sleeve sharpie tattoos instead of actually working in class in High School. Get into any trouble in high school?Yes, I got into some of the worst trouble of my life in high school. Jesse did too I imagine. Suspensions for fighting, threatened by Crips at school, fighting at punk shows, got sucker-punched by a skin head once—that sucked. I’m not proud of this stuff but I was really troubled back then. It wasn’t until I discovered hallucinogens at 18 that my life started turning around. Seeing into alternate dimensions and periodically dialoging with spirits tends to have the effect of making people reflect much more closely on their thinking and actions. I’m a pacifist, vegetarian, and avid meditator now, Om Nama Shivay!

Looking at your Instagram, you are constantly putting up new work. What do you enjoy making more, your more detailed paintings or the quick drawings? I like them both equally but for different reasons. The drawings are more immediate, dialogic, and pop while the paintings are about a material exploration that’s also grounded in investigating figuration and portraiture. But while one is more analytical and responsive and the other more tactile and emotive, they both explore the confusion that erupts in the space between profound unknowing and the hope for transcendent intervention.

What’s your spirit animal?A wolf or a dog.

Do you have any memories of the CCS catalog?Yup! Flipping through them with friends, talking shit and wanting stuff so badly.

What’s next for you?I finish graduate school in May, 2017, then I’ll head back to Portland and keep making work. Maybe L.A. after that.

Where can people find more about your work?On Instagram - @primalscreamingwithfriends

Related Content: Blog