My most current work has been focused on using materials that are ubiquitous and readily available. Since early 2020 as the global pandemic shifted schedules and upended lives, I began collecting cardboard boxes from around my neighborhood. Having learned of the limited capabilities of the recycling industry in regards to reusing cardboard, I decided to deconstruct and repurpose these cardboard boxes. For the last two years, cardboard has become the basis of my work. The resulting art addresses issues of isolation, hope, introspection, and adaptability, and is a testament of the times in which we live.
I watch with horror the senseless killing of people who are the victims of mass shootings. I watch with horror as Senate Republicans send "thoughts and prayers" to the victims' families while they continue to court the NRA and their lobbyists. As of August of 2019, there had been 250 mass shootings in the US. When will life become more important than money? Since the "good guy with a gun" is unable to stop this cycle of violence, it's time for those in power to enact gun legislation and prevent future massacres.
This piece is a memorial dedicated to the victims of mass shootings. It features over 400 hand-carved wooden "bullets" embedded in a target.
This piece is an exploration of the concept of referring to states by color. Blue states, red states, and purple states seem to not only identify the voting trends of a particular geographic region, but seem to define the character of the residents of those states. So the question arises: does color go beyond being an identifier and instead does it tend to define us?
In February of 2013, I was driving around Pasadena, CA. I went down a small street and came face to face with a painted garage door. Whatever images had been painted on it had been exposed to the time and the elements causing the paint to chip, peel and crack. The colors, the way the paint had been applied and the overall composition reminded me of Willem de Kooning pieces I was familiar with. I’ve referred to those colors and weathered textures to create this piece. So Willem got his and I got mine.
I've always gravitated toward industrial areas, construction sites and alleyways. I cherish the chance encounter with weathered textures, abandoned objects and splattered materials. Their interaction often becomes the source of my compositions. "The Tar Pits" came out of a chance encounter with what I figured was roof tar drips I saw on a wall in an industrial area of northern Los Angeles.
I came across a old fence in an industrial area in Los Angeles. The fence had been plastered with layer upon layer of peeling posters, ads and billboards. The exposure to the elements had stiffened, cracked and crumbled the many layers of paper. One could discern the richness of color in the hidden crevices of those layers. It had an apocalyptic character and yet a certain beauty.
Abstract Expressionism is one of my favorite art movements. For years I've studied the works of prominent artists and I've experimented with the gestural approach to painting, collage and assemblage. While walking through an alley, I noticed an area of a dirty wall covered with soot. As if emerging from the soot, there was a splatter of pink paint. Focusing on these elements, I thought of pieces by Helen Frankenthaler, an artist whose work I've always admired. "Thank You Helen" was created as a tribute to Frankenthaler's work and the way it has inspired me.
I was in what once was a thriving factory. I could see some of the old heavy duty equipment gathering dust and rust from lack of use. It seemed to have been sitting there for decades. I came across an electric panel on a wall with a box that at one point had been painted red. The paint on the box and on the surrounding walls had been peeling and cracking for some time, imbuing the space with a nostalgic air. "The Old Mill" is a reflection of being in such a space and thinking of the concepts of progress and evolution.
All pieces © 2019 by Sam Silberstein • email: firstname.lastname@example.org