Contact & Info
Mitchell Goldberg, Artist Statement
I work in a wide variety of mediums and am interested in both representational and abstract forms. Bold color is the element that unifies the broad range of my work. Similar strategies of building up layers of imagery and color are used with the various materials and each medium informs and influences the others. My themes are also widespread and include sexuality, body image, male camaraderie, cars and pure abstraction. Much of my imagery is derived from popular culture, especially from the 1930’s to the 1970’s.
It has been my privilege to study etching at the School of Visual Arts with Bruce Waldman. Each of my prints is a unique piece as I do not produce editions. Instead I prefer to choose individual color combinations each time I print from my etching plates, often layering two or more plates in each print. Usually, the plates I choose to layer will be combinations that I use very few times. I especially like to combine representational etching plates with abstract ones. Some of my prints have used as many as 5 plates in order to create visually and emotionally complex images. This technique is achieved by printing first with one plate, and then changing the etching plate and printing again on the same piece of paper.
Fused Glass is another of my favorite mediums, and once again I have been fortunate to be able to study with a true master of this craft: Dorothy Hafner. With fused glass transparent layers of color can be built up to create magnificent harmonies. The glass pieces are cut and fitted together into a tight mosaic, and then fused in a kiln at 1495 degrees so that it becomes one piece of glass. Some of the designs that I have done in glass, have also been reinterpreted as abstract etchings.
The work I have done in watercolor blends together many of the same ideas as in my etchings and glass pieces in the way that I use transparent layers of color. Once again, many of the images that I have done as watercolors have also been done as etchings.
Polyurethane resin is another material that I have used, and I have taken advantage of its transparent qualities. I have embedded pieces of colored glass and photos printed on clear plastic film into cast resin pieces. Other resin pieces have incorporated some of my early collage work.
I will be having a show of new work at Upstream Gallery in November 2015 that will focus on collage and encaustic paint. For this body of work I have spent countless hours searching for images in old magazines from the 1930’s through the 1970’s.The publications I use include car magazines, body building and physique journals, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Life, National Geographic and adult entertainment. Found and family photographs add another interesting dynamic. I will also be using some of my own drawings and etchings in these pieces. Not surprisingly, layering and transparent color will be an important feature of the work.