Artist Eric Goldstein presents a collection of mixed media sculptural canvases that convey his impression of light and the landscape. Visit his website to learn more about his process.
I do art because it is cheaper than psychotherapy!
This is said humorously, but the underlying truth is that for me, being creative is undeniably a therapeutic process that assuages some internal turmoil. I would guess that this is not unique to me, but instead a historically similar motivation shared by many other artists.
Now here is why I find art therapeutic.
Perhaps the pursuit of artistic integrity was something I picked up at art school. Looking back, I erroneously thought that I needed to be good at “one” thing and one thing only. I let my career ambition derail my coming together as a whole person.
I thought the typical pursuit of art was for charlatans, and what was really important was to become a master at a craft. I held Michelangelo, the consummate master artist/craftsman, as my muse. And since art school proved I was hopeless with a brush, I chose cinematography as a craft to master.
Yes, cinematography has the lure of artistry. But as a Director of Photography it is the craft that takes priority over self-expression. It turns out that as a professional cinematographer you have a lot more demands on your technical and social skills than your artistic self-expression. It is a very creative job with a lot of creative problem solving going on. In the end, I was hired to time-manage a film crew and to create the images that in turn will be used to build someone else’s narrative. Of course, as with any ensemble endeavor, politics can also take precedence over the art.
Somehow, I managed to eke out a living. Over the past thirty-plus years, I have collaborated on over 110 film projects as a Director of Photography. I relied on the alchemy of technical skills, sciences and history, funneled through a viewfinder and a lens to distil visual order out of the emotional narratives set before me.
As a painter (for lack of a better term, since I don’t paint—but build—my canvasses), I am on my own.
I find that painting requires a deeper engagement with my world and more profound understanding of myself. I’m still using the same creative alchemy, but now I’m exploring an even more intricate story I observe playing out on our natural stage.
In their own way, my work celebrates nature’s unbounded spaces by framing its geometries, linear progressions and algorithms. My intent is to capture the pondering presence we get from nature, not as it appears, but as it feels to experience—incomprehensible, indescribable and often very chaotic.
By refining the basic elements of line, color and texture from the sublime landscapes around me, I pare nature’s complexities down to an appreciable moment of wordless understanding.
Unconventionally constructed with various colored fibers, metal foils, and glass tile, my painted canvases express the same underlying concept that I strive for as a cinematographer: “Poetic narratives with kinetic energy.”