Artist Statement-Eric Goldstein
Nature is not always as it appears. Thinking and emotions play a big part in how we see nature. When Picasso said, “I paint objects as I think of them, not as I see them”, I believe that he was saying that he intellectualizes about the subject without the affects of feeling emotions.
By distilling the basic elements of color, texture, movement and line from the landscapes of my world, my abstract frames endeavor to portray nature’s sublime order, not as ‘I think of them’ but as it emotionally feels; unspoken, indescribable and sometimes chaotic.
Ultimately, my constructed frames attempt to express “Emotional narratives with kinetic energy ”
1-What do you consider the most important thing in being an artist?
1. For me, the most important belief I have as an artist is to endeavor to be true to myself. In that, I mean I don’t create art for art’s sake, but simply out of an innate desire to create. It is important for me to let go of what I think is marketable and trendy and cultivate my own internal creative process and intuition.
2-When did you start painting/making art? How did you start?
Not sure if this counts, but when I was a senior in High School some vandals broke into our school, vandalized several things, but the only thing they stole was one of my paintings from the student art gallery. It was an austere beginning but a start nevertheless.
3-How do you feel about the arts in British Columbia?
It is not unreasonable to think of British Columbia as a natural center for the arts. With it’s rich history I am not surprised at the plethora of expressive art. One only has to attend the Eastside Culture Crawl to see that our five thousand year old artful traditions have translated into a striving art community.
4-What would you call your most interesting accomplishment as a professional artist?
That I lived to be as old as I am. Really! And that I have been fortunate enough to have sustained a living being creative.
5-What advice would you give to artists looking to start their career in the arts?
Protect your creative powers from the mundane stresses of mere survival. Live two lives; one as a professional and the other as an artist. Find a career that you enjoy, other than the arts, where you can make your money. Use that money to create your art. This way your creative processes will be free to explore without the confines of making a living. If your art sells than that’s a great bonus. In time you will know when to give up your day job. Don’t make art to live. Live a creative life; be a creative thinker in everything you do and live a life of self-expression.
6-What is the most gratifying aspect of being an artist?
For me, my artwork is a personal journey, a kind of a catharsis that I allow to happen for myself and when the result of that process speaks to someone else, either intellectually or emotionally, that is a very gratifying experience. Of course a ’sale’ speaks volumes to that.
7-What do you feel is the most frustrating part of being an artist?
For an artist, your work should always be a source of frustration. Frustration is the process of working out new things. It is the process of applying your unique experiences and talent to the thing that you are doing. If it was easy, anyone could do it.
8-Can you tell us about your studio? (describe your work space)
My studio is a 14 x 14 foot space with a large garage door that opens to a beautiful forest. Part wood shop, part machine shop, part chemistry lab and part catch-all for my kids junk, it’s the space where my imagination comes to light. I like to think of my studio as a very powerful sanctuary where my creativity is nurtured by a collection of tools for a multitude of materials. I am fortunate enough have my studio attached to where I live so I can work any time of night either in my pajamas or three sweaters in the winter. It reminds me of Alexander Calder’s industrial studio, where thousands of mobiles hang haphazardly from the ceiling and machinery and drafting tables cluttered the floors. It’s a place where the space above your head is as important as the floor space. Most of the time I have to move five different things to make space or to find the tool I need at any given moment. It’s a place where my stereo is paramount. Even though I dream of a larger space, it is a place that completes me.
9-What is your vision for your own work and the studio in the next 5-10 years?
I should see a great deal of change in the next five years. I know I will be moving my studio next year, but to where I’m not yet sure. As for my work I am open to anything perhaps bigger pieces and definitely more public exposure.
For the past 18 years, I have collaborated on over 35 film projects as the Director of Photography. For me, cinematography has always been a truly renaissance art. It has required the alchemy of science, math, history, and technical skills to distill order out of visual chaos.
As with any creative ensemble, filmmaking is a collaborative endeavor. But as a painter, I am on my own. I find that painting requires greater self-acceptance and a deeper engagement with my world. And this time, instead of trying to make order out of the chaos, I’m embracing it and allowing it to be what it is. Ultimately, my painted frames express the same underlying concept that I strive for as a cinematographer: emotional narratives with kinetic energy.
Currently, I am using colored thread of various thickness, acrylic medium, latex paint with sand, plaster, and gold leaf, to tell a story of a- kind. By distilling the basic elements of color, texture and line from the world around me, my canvases attempt to be moving images of nature—not visible nature, but as nature feels—unspoken, indescribable and sometimes chaotic.
Eric Goldstein began his career as a teenager, sweeping floors, setting up lights and processing film in a small dark room for the renowned civil rights photographer James ”Spider’ Martin. Throughout his high school years, Eric worked as an assistant photographer to Martin whose work appeared in national publications such as Life, Time and Look magazines and today is on permanent display at the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham Alabama. Spider Martin was very influential in establishing a life long creative pursuit for Eric.
Eric honed his skills as a fine artist at Rhode Island School of Design. While in school, Eric‘s metal sculpture, Garden Rocks, was chosen in a jury-selected show to exhibit at the Rhode Island Museum of Art. He also had a one-man show of his photography entitled the Duality of Light. In his senior year, Eric was asked to be the cinematographer on a grad student’s film. Inspired by the success of this project Eric set out to Los Angeles to earn a degree in Film and Video from the California Institute of the Arts.
Now based in Vancouver BC, Eric has had a long and productive career as a cinematographer and a fine artist. Eric has photographed over 30 features and televised movies of the week. His work has garnered several awards: An Eastman Kodak Cinematography Award for his contribution to the Oscar nominated short, Contact starring Brad Pitt, a Best Cinematography nomination at the BC’s Leo Awards for Zero Sum, and a Best Cinematography Award for How’s My Driving, at the International High Definition Festival and recently received a Gemini nomination for The Last Days of The Raven. Eric’s distinct style has been aptly termed “lustrous naturalism”.
Throughout his filmmaking career Eric has remained contemporary in the language of art with his metal sculpture, painting, furniture design and artistic fences. Presently, he is using various coloured threads, acrylic paint, metal foils and plaster to build canvases that are graphically influenced, and have strong, architectural rhythms.