Review Me: Eric Goldstein Unconventionally crafted
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Thursday, September 2, 2021

Eric Goldstein Unconventionally crafted

Eric, thank you for accepting our invitation to talk so that our readers can get more familiar with your artistic career and brilliant artworks. Tell us about your artistic background story and if there was a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as a visual artist?

My mother was a working artist, so as far back as I can remember I have always followed an artistic path. In elementary school, unbeknownst to me, an art teacher submitted one of my ceramic sculptures to a state wide-scholastic art completion. The piece won 1st place. In high school, I took an internship with a local photographer and it was there that the idea of making a life as a” creative “ was concreted. Working with James Spider Martin was unquestionably the most significant influence in my young adult life. He was an unpretentious super-creative man and I just wanted to be a part of whatever he was working on. It was in those early years that I recognised; becoming a master-craftsman was more important to me than becoming a self-expressing artist. To master the craft and become a skillful photographer was the pursuit that interested me the most.
To that end, I attended Rhode Island School of Design. I loved my experience there, RISD encapsulates an old-school approach to the arts, where the measure of artistic merit is based on the technical and historical significance of ones work. I studied a lot of art history and honed skills in many different crafts. In my junior year, I was asked to be the cinematographer on a colleague’s student’s film. Inspired by my experience on this project I knew I wanted a career as a cinematographer. After school, I set out to Los Angeles to get a start. It took nearly three years.
As a Director of Photography, I have photographed over 65 features and televised movies. My camera work has garnered several awards: including An Eastman Kodak Excellence in Cinematography Award, a Gemini nomination and several Cinematography awards. Some of the more notable films I have contributed to include are, The Usual Suspects, Me, Myself, and Irene, Dr Dolittle 3, American Pie 2, The Right Temptation, Nightmare on Elm St. 7, American History X, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and Arachnophobia.
After years of collaborations with other filmmakers, my interest has turned towards being a full-time self-expressing artists. I find that painting requires greater introspection and a deeper engagement with my world. Throughout my filmmaking career, I remained contemporary in the language of art with metal sculpture, painting, and furniture design. Presently, I am unconventionally collaging natural fibers; metal foils, glass tile, plaster and paint to explore nature’s unbounded spaces and attempt to emulate its true intrinsic order.

Wonderful! Learning skills and applying creativity in your favorite art is more important to you than anything, and the traces of this approach are so evident in your artworks. Was there ever a moment of doubt to question your art career entirely?

This is a fair question. I humorously like to say that the reason I’m an artist is that it’s cheaper than psychotherapy. Fortunately, I have been propelled with the occasional moments of success, but honestly; a freelance career is innately distraught with uncertainties and insecurities. Never knowing what (income) comes next is inherent with the ‘freelance’ territory. Knowing that these forces can become destructive energies in my life. I have come to understand that the best way for me to get through these feelings is to embrace my vulnerability, let go of any preconceived notions of my career and just create. The process of doing the art’-work is the very thing that helps me move forward.

Doubt may come to the artists suddenly, but they try to ignore it and keep presenting what is formed in their minds and senses. Now, take us to your workplace. What is your daily routine when working in your studio?

I am not as disciplined with my routine, as I would like to be. I noticed that when I’m turned on with a project I can work for hours in my studio. My current work is very labour-intensive, I would guesstimate that I put in nearly 60 plus hours into each piece. So it is essential that I work in my studio every day even if it’s not a set amount of time. If I’m not actually working in my studio I am often thinking about my current piece and where it’s taking me.

You said that you prefer to let go of any preconceived notions of your profession and create because the process of doing art is what helps you progress. Take us through your process of making your artworks.

I start with a photography or concept. I approach my work as an architect might attempt a drawing, one line at a time, measuring, removing, and repeating to create shapes and structures that work in harmony. I work with my canvas flat. I will use a variety of organic fibers and objects that speaks to the color and texture of my subjects. Each thread is measured precisely to ensure its straightness and to create a visual pattern much the same way a musician uses the measure to compose. My collage is held in a place using acrylic paint mixed with plaster. When my abstracted frame finally speaks clearly to my original photo I know I am done.

Amazing! Your painted frames express the same underlying concept you strive for as a cinematographer: emotional narratives with kinetic energy. Is there a central concept connecting all your works together or each series or artwork is unique?

My work is highly conceptual. My processes of creating these pieces are akin to a practice of creative alchemy. I’m using skills that I have developed as a cinematographer, math, quantum theory, and introspection to express something greater than myself. But before I explain, let me say that none of these concepts are important for the viewers to discern or understand! Hopefully, the viewer enjoys my artwork simply because I’ve created an aesthetically pleasing frame. I didn’t set out to use fractural geometry, algorithms, and quantum sciences such as Chaos and Sting theories, but over time, I discovered that these things are innate in my work. The alchemy starts when I endeavour to distill only the basic elements of line, color, and texture from my landscapes and endeavour to pair down nature’s complexities into a single kinetic frame. In doing so, I attempt to emulate natures’ true intrinsic order. Not necessarily as it appears, but as it feels to experience; incomprehensible, indescribable, always changing, and often very chaotic.

It’s important to understand the audience and generate a clear message. Would you like to give a particular interpretation of your work to your viewers or you prefer to leave the whole interpretation to your audience?

I see myself as both a naturalist and a conceptual artist. My constructed frames are both an exploration into the concepts that I employ as a professional cinematographer and my reverential regard for our natural environment.

Sometimes amazing sources of artistic inspiration capture the artist's soul. How do you seek and use inspiration for your works?

Maybe it is from looking back at the houses along the tree-lined shore, with their luminescent lights shimmering on the bay, or by the path, behind my house, that tunnels west through a shaded forest, all its’ flora bejewelled in the golden afternoon light. Perhaps, it’s because all one can see the houses in my arboreal neighbourhood is the sunlight dancing on their windows and their addresses on the street. Or because the snow-covered birches illuminated by a cerulean sky endows the Squamish Basin with its own phosphorescent light. All I know is, I am constantly being inspired by the landscapes around me.

How do you select your artworks subjects? Where they come from?

Not sure, they somehow select me.

By techniques and methods you use, you create moving images of nature on your canvases. Is there an artwork or series that you would like to be remembered for?

I have been a visual artist most of my adult life. I feel that I have found a voice with this new style of mixed media work. Hopefully, if you listen closely, you might feel the synergy comes from the creative alchemy of science, conceptual art and introspection.

Our readers are waiting for loads of your future artworks to get excited about. Any upcoming works or future projects that you would like to share with our readers?

I would like to invite anyone who might be interested in following me to visit my website and signing up for my newsletter. .

Eric, what are your art influences?

It might sound a little cliché, but I have always valued those artists who pioneered both the arts and sciences. Nothing exemplifies this more than the Renaissance artist and craftsmaen such as Leonardo Di Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo. But perhaps more directly, my influences come from continually looking towards post-modernist artists like Rothko, Pollock, and Mondrian for influences. I found that these artists were also pioneers in the language of art.

Let's visit the remarkable old artists! If you could meet one of your ideal artists from the past, who would it be and what will you ask about?

Any one of the artists I mentioned above. I would ask them all the same questions; what is the meaning of Art?

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