Enjoy Sam Silberstein’s wildly creative and delightfully quirky portfolio of sculpture made of repurposed materials. Visit his website to see more.
I’ve been a visual artist for most of my life. I grew up in Mexico City where I was exposed to a rich visual culture. Mexican folklore, from toys to masks to fabrics, is filled with symbolism.
I encountered vibrant colors and textures everywhere. And I delighted in exploring arts and crafts markets, flea markets, visiting remote villages and traveling the country always with a camera in hand.
I documented craftsmen and their creations, market vendors and their produce, fabrics, foods, and stunning landscapes. I visited museums, studied art history and learned from established artists. All these elements served to inform my art practice. I have been creating and experimenting visually for almost 50 years.
Fast forward to 2020. There we all were in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, glued to the news and trying our best to adapt to the new normal. The interruption to the flow of our daily lives had no end in sight and it was best to deal with changing events just one day at a time. I sought relief in being outdoors and walking the neighborhood with my family.
It was then that I began to spot the sheer amount of cardboard (Amazon and grocery delivery boxes mostly) piling up in my neighbors’ driveways and recycling cans. I decided then that I needed to put that material to use. I used the cardboard as my canvas, cut it and joined it in various ways.
In keeping with the mood of the pandemic times, I began my cardboard journey by creating tapestries that somewhat resembled mandalas (elaborate designs conducive to contemplation and self-awareness).
I then turned to sculpture, drawing from my connection to my Mexican roots, to alebrijes, fantastical animalistic creatures native to Mexico, and began creating my own.
Today, about three years since the pandemic began, I have an increasingly growing collection of pieces which are all built from repurposed cardboard with many more on the way. This feature is but a sampling of what I have created to date.
Sam Silberstein invites you to follow him on Instagram.