Ando & Bluey , his painting behind
Ando has always been an Artist he picked up the paintbrush at the age of 4 and began exhibiting at age 15. Growing up in a mining town Broken Hill in remote outback Australia and surrounded by amazing desert landscapes this became the inspiration for many of his paintings. He also bred parrots in an aviary in his backyard from the age of 10 another of his inspirations which can be seen in his many bird paintings and even today living in the country on acreage outside Brisbane he has many native birds visit his feeding trays every day for new subjects to paint. Completely self taught, Andos style is innovative and unique, leaping between the small-scale and the colossal; he's always looking for new challenges to capture on canvas. He has an inquiring mind with a love of science and what makes the world we live in work. He studied engineering at the university of NSW, and worked for 5 years in the mining industry. Ando, a Mining Engineer, decided to take a year off to focus on his art. His first major exhibition was back in 92 it was opened by the Governor General of Australia and 30 paintings sold out in 10 minutes the next day “The Canberra Time” had him on the front page with the headline “The Artist with the Golden Brush” from which he never looked back. He has been a professional Artist for the past 30 years, enjoying sell out exhibitions all over the world.
In the late 90,s Ando embarked on a new idea he spent 5 years researching, planning and designing how to construct and paint a seemingly seamless canvas painting on a huge scale ” The Big Picture” with its unique walkin through the side entry-viewing platform which affords the visitor an unbalanced experience of 'walking into a painting' while having the impression of being in the actual outback. During his planning he took many trips to Europe to check out some beautiful panoramas created by teams of artists over a hundred years ago and set out a master plan of how he could create one on his own. Still determined to put his own spin on the art form,he began to paint his dream project. He describes his work as an ‘Andorama’ as “The Big Picture” is no ordinary painting, measuring 100 metres in circumference by 12 metres at its highest point, it is the World's Largest acrylic painting on canvas painted by a single artist it is famous worldwide not only for its sheer size, but also for its Australian charm and familiarity it's something you have to see it to believe it – and even then it’s astounding ,in its first year over 30,000 people visited it and it has been going strong for 20 years as the region's number one tourist attraction and listed in “Australian Travellers Magazine'' Top 100 things to see when visiting Australia . It has been referred to as a Masterpiece and a National Treasure. The year following “The Big Picture” opening Ando met his partner a Canadian Christine Righetti he shared with her another large project he was thinking of and the two them set out on a great adventure to create the world's largest work of Art , later to be called “Mundi Mundi Man” after the expansive plain it would lay on. It was a mind blowing project on a scale never seen before with exclusive viewing from 3000 feet above.Covering over 4,000,000 square metres (over 5,000,000 square yards), this Andoscape was etched onto the landscape of the Mundi Mundi Plains ,Australia. A Stockman image was chosen to represent those who pioneered the Outback of Australia and is from an original drawing by Ando. Although the co-ordination and measuring of the on-site image was completed by Ando with Christine's help, the actual image was drawn and interpreted entirely by Ando. The process was one that took enormous attention to detail and tens of thousands of calculations. As a child Ando saw “Chariots of the Gods” which stimulated my fascination with the geoglyphs (line drawings) of the Nazca Plains in Peru and the mystery that surrounded how they were made , could man without technology and flight make them. He purposely tried to recreate an image in the deserts of Australia in the spirit of the nazca lines, he didn't use modern technology or fly over the image until complete, relying mostly on tape measures and spatial instinct to carve out the lines on the desert floor. When complete Christine worked her magic she was able to get the news to the world from a very isolated part of Australia , with no internet, no social media, just a Sat phone , she organised two different film crews as well as a crew from California, Ripley’s Believe it or Not to document the work before unveiling it to the world's media. When released Mundi Mundi Man filled Newspapers and Television broadcasts all over the planet. Ando was inundated by interview requests on a Sat phone in the middle of the desert to some of the world's most prestigious News Networks, it was an amazing response. Mundii Mundii Man is featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Season 3 Episode 22 along with a collection of treasures and unbelievable things from across the world, More importantly to Ando, it’s a tribute to life in the outback and a loving portrait of his hometown. .
Ando is a self-confessed workaholic , he’s often in the studio before 5 am and will paint all day , he loves adventures , scuba diving , ski and hiking and often travels to seek inspiration for new artworks. Ando says he is grateful to be an artist, “that I can make a living from something I love doing. People who have bought my paintings explain to me that every time they look at my work they find something new to enjoy , that having my art in their home brings them joy that is humbling and exhilarating at the same time”. In recent times Ando suffered several years of bad health in which he was unable to paint. This time away from painting enabled him to reflect and create in his mind a series of new very different and unique collections about storytelling and realism. Now fully recovered he is busy at work creating his best work yet , all done in his Andorealism style, hopefully to be released over the next few years.
From his first painting at the age of four to the World’s Largest Work of Art at the age of forty, Ando has created a portfolio of amazing variety he has exhibited all over the world , over one hundred of his paintings have been published as limited editions and sold out as well as other various products. Ando’s exhibitions have always been sell-outs including two which were opened by the Governor General of Australia , he looks to the future with new ideas and new inspiration to continue his life journey creating Art.
Ando and some friends
Ando Zion NP
Ando looking out to Buneroo from St Mary Peak , Flinders Rgs S.A.
Ando painting “A Great Drop”
Ando and the Governor General of Australia
Ando signing prints
Ando high above the Grand Canyon
Ando Painting Flinders Beach Nth Stradbroke Is
Ando Painting “Classic Petrus”