It is with a great deal of excitement that I have been paired with Steven Epstein to exhibit our artwork in the “Road Work” show at the Hamilton Street Gallery. As I write this statement, the show has yet to be installed so it is with a great sense of anticipation and mystery that I anticipate my first glance as I walk through the gallery doors.
Joan Sonnenfeld and Brian McCormack at Hamilton Street have chosen to exhibit Steve’s work with mine because of our mutual interest in the streets. Steven depicts them through his paintings. I scour them for sculptural components. Streets are one of the vital connections of our lives. They encompass the culture at large through the various places with which they bring us, and the various dynamics we encounter on them. I am aware that my visual landscape has always been enhanced by movement through my immediate environment as I try and make sense of just what is going on. While traversing those same streets, they also provide me with much of the material I use in creating images.
Works of mine shown in this exhibition such as “Cleveland Avenue Bus,” “On Staten Island” “Adam and Steve,” “Striped Lamp with Creature Beneath the Deep,” “405A Cleveland Avenue,” and “18 East” have as their main components and main inspiration, material found on the streets in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. The process of recycling found objects for artistic purposes is an old one. Those who work in such a medium find that the material often drives the direction of the piece, or the material is repurposed to meet the expressive needs of the artist.
My interest in assemblage pieces is many-fold: to visually capture attention and imagination; to stimulate thought pertaining to social and political dynamics; to make people smile and maybe laugh; to remind us who and where we think we are, and to bring out the iconic nature of many of the materials I use.
I find my main attraction with such materials is to use their illuminating colors and at times add electricity to brighten and highlight my work. It is interesting to have my work juxtaposed with the work of Steven Epstein. Steven creates images of streets though his paintings, often using the night to make us further explore our environment and find out for ourselves what lies just a little further beyond what we first see. It is this contrast concerning our uses of the streets that I will be most interested in seeing during my first glance of this show.
I want to thank Joan and Brian for running the Hamilton Street Gallery for so many of us who exhibit here. This is my gallery of choice among all the places I exhibit. Thanks also J. and B. for the confidence you have shown to partner me with Steven Epstein in this exhibition. And thanks Steven for sharing this space where you are exhibiting the work you so forcefully create from your perceptions and pallet.
Fred Cole “405 Cleveland Avenue” recycled metal,found outside of 405 A Cleveland Ave., large car jackRoad Work