Montclair Magazine Holiday 2021 - Page 16

neighbors
medium he calls “ sculpted canvases .” He credits sculpture with giving “ a whole other physical presence that is interesting to interact with ,” and says that “ When you explore the sculpted form , there ’ s nothing that can replace that physicality .”
HIS PIECES EVOLVE IN STAGES . When Anderson first imagines a new piece of art , that vision goes through many stages and revisions . The process often begins with a graphite sketch on apiece of paper . “ You further refine that or you make different decisions or alterations , even abstractions ,” Anderson says .
NEW JERSEY INSPIRES HIM . “ Living in New Jersey , you just get to experience a lot of different people coming from all different backgrounds ,” Anderson says , adding that the state is “ rich in diversity and culture ” and that it encourages people to appreciate the arts . He feels fortunate to be in close proximity to New York City , Newark , Paterson , and the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn . “ You don ’ t realize it until you move away from it , how many resources we have ,” Anderson says .
CHILD ’ S PLAY Anderson drew inspiration for the XO World sculpture , which was installed at One World Trade Center , from the game of jacks .
MONTCLAIR IS A GOOD MATCH FOR HIM . Montclair ’ s “ eclectic ” feel , with its music and arts festivals and coffee shops , animates him . “ Everything is very open and accepting , and they just have a very beautiful perspective ,” Anderson says . “ So it ’ s a very cultural town , and there ’ s a lot of expression and alot of ideas and creation .”
HE HOPES THE XO WORLD PROJECTPROMPTS THOUGHTS OF WORLD PEACE . “ Our society faces unprecedented challenges stemming from a global pandemic , political polarization , economic recovery , racial inequity and territorial conflicts ,” Anderson says . “ World Peace Day was the perfect backdrop to unveil these ... sculptures intended to bring people together . There ’ s a lot of symbolism used to depict that
playground scene of all the children , and to depict those expressions that we all know and observe as priceless and we can relate to .” He says both sculptures are meant to “ live together ” and tell a “ complete story ” from asite that is of historic and cultural importance .
HE LOVES THE IDEA OF PEOPLE INTERACTING WITH THE SCULPTURES . Anderson says he really wants people to interact with the sculptures and to take photos to share onsocial media . He says it is a way for people to “ share the love and be very connected throughout the globe .” He would like to encourage them to take selfies in front of the sculptures with their arms crossed over their chest to replicate the XO sculpture , and post it on social media with the hashtag # ShareTheLove .
HE PLANS TO TAKE HIS INITIATIVE AROUND THE GLOBE . Anderson would like to make more artworks in the XO World Project series , and plans to install the XO WORLD and XO PLAY sculptures in Paris in 2022 , and in London , Hong Kong , Moscow , and Dubai . “ The foundation ’ s intention and vision is to put into action the four pillars of the XO World Project movement — equality , unity , peace and love — by providing services that help improve the lives of people who are marginalized , and don ’ t have equal access to healthcare , education , clean water or adequate food sources ,” he says .
He says that he intends for the foundation to provide free medical and surgical care for women and children in developing countries , starting with Ghana and Kenya . ■
COURTESY OF EVAN ROGERS
14 HOLIDAY 2021 MONTCLAIR MAGAZINE