This Navy veteran paints what words can’t express in scenes from his deployment

At a small gallery in North Long Beach, a series of paintings offer a glimpse into the life of a U.S. Navy veteran, albeit through fragmented memory.

Artist Andrew Hansen, a former Navy seaman and Cal State Long Beach alumni, creates painterly scenes of ritual and insight into a regimented culture most of us  have never experienced.

“Andrew’s work gave me a whole different perspective on a Navy seaman’s, and military soldier’s, life in general,” said Flatline gallery co-founder Elizabeth Munzon, who curated the show. “It humanizes their roles, and gives us insight into the unique culture and the bond these men and women create when they are deployed.”

Detail from a painting in Ritual: A Navy Veteran’s perspective by artist Andrew Hansen at Flatline gallery. Photo courtesy of Flatline.

Ritual: A Navy Veteran’s Perspective, opens at Flatline gallery on Saturday evening, with a special preview of the show to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the Uptown Veteran’s Day Parade, where it kicks off with a street fair right outside the space at 6023 Atlantic Ave.

Hansen says his figurative abstractions are based in reality but are influenced by the “fragmentary nature of memory,” and he hopes to encourage other veterans to use visual art as a way to express what can’t be expressed through words.

“This series is a recollection of my 2011 deployment aboard the USS Carl Vinson,” Hansen said in the press material. “My work shows various painting styles and techniques as a means to expressively portray the emotions that I experienced at the time of these events.”

Learn more about Hasen’s work on his website here and check out Flatline gallery on Facebook here. Gallery goers can check out Ritual during a preview on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the Uptown Veteran’s Day Parade and attend the opening from 6 to 10 p.m. Ritual is on view through Nov. 15.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.