“Vicarious”

Solo Exhibition: November 1-25, 2018

Upstream Gallery, 8 Main Street, Hastings-On-Hudson, NY 10706

Reception: Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018 2-5 pm. Gallery hours: Thur – Sun, 12:30-5:30 pm

tel: 914 674 8548, web: http://www.upstreamgallery.com

 Interview: ©Nancy Egol Nikkal

 

Mitchell Goldberg titled this solo exhibition VICARIOUS and is showing his newest works in collage, image transfer and printmaking. The works focus on imagined or constructed memories of male companionship. Goldberg says: “I’m interested in male camaraderie, desire, and emotions related to body image.” His collages explore gay male sexuality through the lens of pop culture imagery, distorted memory and vicarious nostalgia.

“Vicarious” is an intriguing word. It’s an adjective used to modify another word. For example: “a vicarious thrill” – where the thrill is felt or enjoyed through imagined participation in the experience of others. As viewers, we can share in the pleasure of Goldberg’s love of his media. And – the media is the message.

Goldberg creates collage with cut and pasted papers, his own figure drawings, and image transfers of men from vintage magazines and photos. All the images are classic gay beefcake, soft gay porn, and automobiles, along with flashes of color and recycled imagery from his own work. Goldberg adds transparent layers of color in acrylic and encaustic to create depth and complexity to enhance the sense of memory altered, distorted and rewritten through the passage of time.

The artist adds: “while the works delve into the universal experience of loneliness, they also offer hope in the form of potential intimacy and companionship.”

 

Mitchell Goldberg, Remembering Them

The image above is titled “Remembering Them” and was the first work done for this exhibition. It’s a double panel collage (diptych) with acrylic and photo image transfer, 36 x 24 inches. The photos are almost all in B&W. The layered colors are blue and red. Goldberg says his assembly process for this work follows the same assembly process for media used in his previous solo exhibition.

 

Mitchell Goldberg, Summer Solstice

The image above is titled “Summer Solstice” and was done next. Goldberg says it’s from a series that feature his figure studies. This work is 16”x20” and the media is entirely acrylic and image transfer. The overlapping figures are in B&W. The transparent, layered colors are red, orange and purple.

 

I asked Goldberg about his art background and how he learned to work with all the different media he uses in collage. He made his first collages during a break before his senior year at Sarah Lawrence College, and only took studio arts classes that final year. The first collages also included pop culture pictures of men and cars that express sexual identity. His instructors at Sarah Lawrence said the backgrounds in the collages were too flat.  Goldberg said, although the criticism hurt, he managed to learn from it and his work improved.

He put together his own version of art school and took adult classes at Westchester Community College and the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in NY.” He was in his 40s and consciously decided to never take criticism personally and always try to listen and learn. He studied sculpture, drawing, life drawing and painting, learned to make stained glass, then learned to make fused glass and explore transparent color layering (with Dorothy Hafner), He studied watercolor and printmaking, life drawing and etching, working with multiple print plates.

He said a fellow student introduced him to transparent image transfer – which ultimately changed how he makes collage. He loves building layers with color and multiple images and often adds mono printing above solvent based image transfer, or transparent acrylic paint as a final layer.

 

Mitchell Goldberg, Midnight Dream

The image above is titled “Midnight Dream” and is the last he finished among the three images. This work is 12” x 24”. The media is collage with acrylic and image transfer. The collage includes a torn monoprint. The background color behind the figures images is saffron yellow. The figures overlap in a design that moves horizontally. The artist added small areas of transparent green and red.

 

The Art of Image Transfer

Goldberg says he used more image transfer and less cut and pasted papers in the collages for this exhibition. He also varied the media in each work based on size. All the 12” x 24” panels feature a torn mono print with a solvent image transfer on it.   Every work that is 12” x 12” has an image transfer of a simple 3-piece or 4-piece collage layered with an old photograph and a layer of acrylic paint. The 20” x 16” pieces all feature image transfers of a figure drawing by the artist with added layers of image transfers and acrylic paint.

Goldberg likes working with image transfers because he can re-use the original image. He likes the depth that image transfers give by revealing what’s behind the top image and thinks color layering with image transfer is so beautiful because it  enhances the dreaminess of the vision while adding an abstract dimension to the work.

The artist also says he misses having the texture and aged quality of original papers, and will return to paper collage at some point in the future.

 

I asked Goldberg if there were artists who influenced or inspired him as a collage artist. He likes James Rosenquist and Robert Rauschenberg, the photographers Robert Frank, Gary Wingrand and Diane Arbus – because they knew how to observe the world. He loves works by the artist Kandinsky and early works by Miro. He said Pop Art, Dada and Surrealism are primary inspiration. Goldberg likes Gay artists such as Paul Cadmus and George Tooker because they brought emotion and real depiction of the human experience into their work.

Goldberg says he tries to bring a sense of irony and wit to his work. He is critical of some gay art today because the works are basically figure studies of perfect looking men and very idealized relationships. He adds: “I have been lifting weights since my early twenties, because I also want to look good.”

Meet the artist on Sunday, November 4th (2-5 pm) at the gallery reception. See the exhibition (Nov 1-25, 2018) during regular gallery hours: Thursday – Sunday, 12:30-5:30 pm. For information and gallery directions, call 914.674.8548. Visit Goldberg’s webpage at Upstream Gallery. Visit the artist’s website to see more works.

Advertisements

When projects are unfinished, it’s good to continue.

So we continued with Collage All Mixed Up – the previous class project at the Pelham Art Center where I teach Thursday evenings.

I wrote about the all mixed up project in the previous blog, and talked about the Exquisite Corpse, a multi-part poem or image that was the basis for the project.

The class is titled Embellish An Image: Play with Collage. We have a project each week, sometimes determined by me, sometimes suggested by one of the class members.  Sometimes we don’t finish the project during the class.

We cut and tear. We glue. We layer. We play. We experiment. We embellish. We get very involved and forget about time. Then we finish the project at home or we continue the following week.

Here’s a bit of information: when you make art over a period of time, when there’s a break and you return to the work, the second sweep will often change the look of the work. It can become a new work (different from the earlier work) and that’s ok.

MIX IT UP MULTI MEDIA

The image below shows a work that includes drawing and collage that was completed over 2 weeks. It was embellished with drawing.

class collage project

The central figure is in 3 parts all mixed up: the feet are male athlete’s feet. The body is a fashion figure in a pink jacket. The face is a lovable white dog (a poodle?).

The drawn lines connect everything, including a connection to the trailing flower stems in the paper collage piece at the bottom. There is a wonderful sense of white space and hand drawing.

This image truly expresses the charm and personality of the person who created it.

The project Collage All Mixed Up (the Exquisite Corpse) is really my attempt to introduce my students to Surrealism, an art movement that began in the early 1920s.

Surrealism includes collage. Many famous artists of the 20th century were Surrealists, including Max Ernst, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and Andre Breton (a poet known as the founder of Surrealism).

The Surrealist writers and artists met in cafes, played collaborative drawings games, and developed automatic drawing as a means to express the subconscious. Works included unexpected visual (or literary) juxtapositions or materials and imagery via collage.   Read about surrealism.

LAYERS LAYERS LAYERS

The image below shows another work that was completed over 2 weeks. The first week the student spent her time locating papers and cutting them out precisely. She never got to gluing things down – which served her well, because she added papers the second week, and found new ways to use the papers, and the work changed dramatically.

class collage project

I talked to the students about how collage can be multi-layered.  I think placing a background collage layer is a good way to start a collage. The background can be a large single piece or multiple pieces of paper. The papers can be found in books, prints or magazines, can be fabric, can be photographs or photocopies, can be painted papers, drawings or prints.

The main image that sits on top of the background collage will be more interesting and seem to have more depth.

Notice the image above. Papers were collected from art and fashion magazines. The images are layered.  Notice the yellow and black papers that sit under the model’s legs – to create contrast so you see the figure. Notice how the student cut diagonal patterns along the edge of the background papers and tore edges on other papers to move your eye around. The colors are all related, and there’s a lot of energy in the design.

The image below shows another work that was completed over 2 weeks. Some of the collage was glued down the first week, but most of the time the first week was spent finding the right magazine papers.

class collage project

I like to stress design principles in the class – like repeating shapes in various sizes (scale) and finding papers in a range of colors that show different hues and values. The variations make the composition much more interesting. Finding papers with pattern and drawing adds more interest.

COLLAGE TO TELL A STORY

We talked in the fist class about a narrative approach to collage. I suggested students pick a word or a phrase and find text and images, then create a story collage. It’s another good way to begin.

Notice how the blues and reds range from subdued to saturated color, from opaque to gradient and patterned color. The round objects, the wheel in red and blue, the fish and the sunlit water (see the tilted blue square on the left) lead your eye around and through the composition. Like the neon orange fish, you are traveling through the space. That’s good. There is a wonderful juxtaposition of the various elements, lots of layering, and many words to tell the STORY.

THE POWER OF ONE COLOR

The image below shows a work that was completed in a single class session.

class collage project

The collage was made with magazine papers, hand made black and white striped paper and text. It’s multi-layered and includes a lot of different paper elements. This student especially likes to make abstract art with bold color, high contrast, and geometric design.  I told her I liked the juxtaposition of cut and torn papers, curved and straight shapes. There’s a lot of movement under, over, around, across, off the edge and back in again. Stripes make it work even better.

The image below is a voyage to an exotic place. The student found papers that suited her green sensibility (at the time of the class) as well as papers that included patterns and stripes to go with the hand-made black and white striped paper I brought to the class. This collage has multiple layers of paper. The striped paper is part of the under layer of the collage. The cut and torn magazine papers create geometric abstraction, suggest natural landscape and also include peekaboo graphic images that surprise.

class collage project

CONCLUSION

Did you notice that everyone did a different work? I love that. In my next blog (for the next project) I will include images by more class members.

Please post you questions, if you want to know more about the papers, resources or projects.

This is the 2nd post and includes comments and images by Mary Hunter.

See the first post for links and information about ABMB in case you want to go in 2012.

Mary Hunter wrote:

Art Basel Miami Beach 10th Anniversary

MARY: “When my friend reminded me that I had agreed to attend ABMB this year, I wasn’t aware of the unexpected and overwhelming event I was about to experience.

Checking into the 50’s style hotel, a block from the beach and walking distance to Art Basel, made me feel like I was part of a movie set. Immediately I was among Sinatra, Monroe, large hotels, the Beach and “all” I had seen in movies and photos over the years.”

Collins Avenue Miami Beach

Mary took the images nearby. I think she has a great eye for the color and light in Miami I love her image below of the funky blue globes at the hotel restaurant. We had margaritas there at the end of the long first day that included travel to Miami (she from TX, me from NY) and two fairs: Art Now at the Catalina Hotel and then an opening night party for INK at Suites of Dorchester (sponsored by the International Fine Print Dealers Assn.), both on Collins Avenue.

the Hotel

NAVIGATING THE ART FAIRS

MARY: “Attending with an artist friend who had been before, made navigating smoother and the essential information of the Exhibit helpful. Her knowledge of galleries, artists and art history was a bonus for me who travels intuitively. We shared lots of conversation and fun over the 3 plus days. You could afford days at one event or attend many of the fairs. It is Huge and more art that I could consume in 4 days. This left me with the thirst to return next year.”

NANCY: Mary knows how to look at art. She knows what she likes. She has a gift for conversation. I listened in on her conversations with gallery owners and was impressed with the dialogue and information gathered.

Mary took the next two images of me at the Convention Center. It was our day to see Art Basel Miami Beach. My shoes have sand on them because we walked on the beach before breakfast.

Nancy at ABMB

Nancy viewing at ABMB

The clouds in Miami were awesome. And it didn’t rain.

Miami Beach

MUSEUM QUALITY ART

MARY: “The quality of art I viewed was excellent, even some museum quality. The prices were as I expected and were negotiable. In light of the size of the show, it was installed very well (not an easy task I’m sure). There was less edgy and outsider art displayed. I didn’t miss it however. Viewing all the top worldwide galleries was impressive to me.”

 Gallery Reps Were Informative and Unpretentious

MARY: “The gallery reps were most engaging, informative and unpretentious. Hearing the story about paintings by the wife of Milton Avery was most interesting and peculiar.”

Images nearby are by Mary Hunter and show a small painting and a sculpture by Joan Miro, a glass artwork (artist unidentified), and a painting by Milton Avery’s wife.

Works by Joan Miro

Glass Art

Painting by Sally Avery

We found out it wasn’t a Milton Avery painting when Mary asked the gallerist to speak about the painting and he admitted it was by Sally Avery (nee Michel). Here’s a fact: Her income as an illustrator enabled Avery to devote himself to his painting. Read more about Avery…

Do you love Joan Miro’s art? Here’s a lively 4:30 minute You Tube video with wonderful Miro images and jazzy background music…

THE OTHER ART FAIRS

Outside AQUA

MARY: “Some of the smaller venue sites: INK, AQUA, Art NowMiami had a more intimate space and were just as good as the larger sites: Art Basel, NADA, Art Miami and Scope, to name a few.”

INK

Scope

Outside the Hotel Catalina

NANCY: The image above outside the Hotel Catalina came from the Internet: Zia Gallery did a great blog titled Miami Basel End Notes with more images. Zia was one of about 16 galleries at Art Now Miami.

Mary wrote the artists she met were very approachable and interesting to converse with on their process, approach and work possibilities.

She found an art event we attended on Saturday evening after visiting Art Miami, Scope and Art Asia. We walked to the opening: Very edgy art, focus on graffiti. Organized for Mr. Brainwash, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker and Pop Artist at a pop-up space called the Boulan Building at 21st Street and Collins Ave. It was so windy outside we were almost blown over trying to walk there. Do you know about Mr. Brainwash? His real name is Thierry Guetta, The exhibition party included the celebrity basketball star Bosh of the Miami Heat. Mary is a fan. She took the two pictures seen below. The two-story space was huge and filled with graffiti installations and paintings. The crowd was young. The celebrities didn’t stay long. We weren’t invited to the red-carpet dinner.

Bosh and Mr. Brainwash

Mr. Brainwash Graffiti painting

MARY: “I came home ‘drunk’ on great Contemporary Art and the pure enjoyment of having shared it with a good artist friend. And yes I will attend again next year as my appetite wants more!”

mary hunter

You can contact Mary:  marydothunteratmacdotcom

Mary in the Picture at ABMB

I think I took the picture above: Mary and the artist with his installation at ABMB. She bought a banana to eat. How smart is that? I wish I’d bought a banana also. I was starving as soon as we walked outside.

Mary and a Living Sculpture

I hope you enjoyed reading Mary’s comments and seeing the images. I am already looking forward to next year.

Thank you for your comments below.