Artist Spotlight: Andy Graff

Anna Hainze

Andy Graff is a man of many words — literally. A double major in English and art history, this solitary junior is often seen around campus, quietly doing his thing, but while this might seem like an innocuous enough activity, you would not even believe the stuff that goes on in his head.
For example, “Questions about what is the actual substance of art [i.e. the medium, the subject, the conversation or text surrounding it] these things keep me up nights sometimes. That and sea turtles” says Graff.
Lauded as one of Lawrence’s best writers by fellow English major and writer Peter Raccuglia, Graff is currently working on two projects that he plans to complete next year, one of which comprises a “theoretical work mashing plastic art and literature.”
The other undertaking is perhaps a little more labor-intensive; Graff intends to rewrite “Heart of Darkness,” Joseph Conrad’s famous 1899 novel, a novel pretty consistently hated by high-schoolers all over the nation.
States Graff, “I’m rewriting ‘Heart of Darkness’ for our own generation, mapping it out, its scenes and its moments, and rewriting it, making it punk. Vietnam had its version; we need ours.” In undertaking this project, Graff figures that he will be drawing a lot on his own experiences serving with the 101st in Afghanistan in early 2002 — “It wasn’t pleasant, but it was worthwhile. I have a story to tell because of that.”
Other than those two rather consuming projects, it seems from his interview that Graff spends a lot of time considering the big literary questions of our time.
“Professor Dintenfass says that above all, literature is frivolous; it’s a high form of play. I subscribe to that completely. Anything besides growing and eating tomatoes is ultimately frivolous.