As many people know, Orcas Island High School has a thriving art scene. This is largely due to the accepting vibe of the school. The latest student to express herself in this supportive environment is young artist Anneke Ivans. Ivans has been drawing since she was four years old. “I started out with some simple coloring when I was young,” Ivans says. Now her art has become something much more. She has graduated from coloring books to printer paper.
When asked about who inspires her she responds, “It’s simple. Picasso, Van Gogh, Mozart, Fieri, Warhol, Dali, Pollock, da Vinci, Matisse, Michelangelo, O’Keeffee, Degas, Haring, Munch, Basquiat, Lichtenstein, Rivera, Kahlo, Renoir, Yoko Ono, Caravaggio, Monet, Lipton, Hartung, Yannima Pikarli Tommy Watson, Yue Minjun, Francis Bacon, Miro, and Pitbull, to name a few.” It is very clear, though, that at this time in her practice she has most definitely surpassed the work of her inspirations. This excellence can be seen in her most recent masterpiece, “Man With Big Feet”.
The piece challenges the viewer to understand and comprehend a deeper meaning, from the uniquely drawn feet of the so-called “Mr. Big Feet”, to the often unnoticed and under appreciated hands of the drawn man. Could it be a daring comment on workers rights? Could Ivans be calling for a workers’ union revolution through her controversial piece? Ivans’ bold choice to create the work in blue pen shows the guts and bravery she exhibits.
Recently, many art critics have challenged the piece. One review called for a boycott of Ivans’ art as a whole. “Anyone who draws with such a dangerous message should not be celebrated,” said the review, “however, I must admit that she is the most talented artist of our generation, and has surpassed any artists that came before her, like, literally all of them.”
Only the unstoppable hand of time will tell if Ivans’ art is as dangerous as it may seem. “My art is my expression, and my expression is my heart,” explains Ivans, “nobody can judge me.” So no matter what time tells, we know the history books will contain the charm of the now infamous “Mr. Big Feet”.