~NICHOLAS STEINDORF . . BACK TO YALE
so, who is NICHOLAS . . ?
the man in the lake, in Maine.
well, that would be . . NICHOLAS STEINDORF.
(and originally from land-locked Wisconsin, bye the way.)
he’s a friend of Kate’s. I first saw his work in a very casual setting, a few small paintings tossed around the walls, at a small dinner party in Brooklyn. they caught my eye – right away, and I’ve been following his meanderings, as in wondering, questioning, always changing, roaming .. the range of visual expression running from precise digital animation to . . quiet, yet intense . . colorist minimalist sculpture … ever since.
if you’ve been following these pages, you’ve seen . . . his 2012 Bushwick Open Studio presentation from last year,
and 2 very different, yet both . . very vivid, very poetic, digitally animated screenings, at . . ENTWINE in the city. both CoWorker presentations curated by YULIA TOPCHIY.
He’s also been in a few groups shows at 109, in Brooklyn.
though both video presentations, do their ‘artistic’ traveling .. mostly on the ‘abstract’ vector – both are narratives, though of a purely visual, and yes: a .. purely ‘conceptual’ kind.
the latter, ‘SWOLLEN FOOT’ had particular meaning for me, and I’m sure others . . . as it retold for another generation, that great Greek myth, the compelling tragedy of Swollen Foot . . or, as he’s better known to us .. OEDIPUS.
OEDIPUS REX / OEDIPUS WRECKS.
so when Nicholas went off to grad school at Yale, many stories followed. it seemed like a pretty intense experience, so when I was invited to actually see what went on, I jumped at the chance, having seriously never been interested in the place at all, before. ever.
well, things change. nothing is written in stone, esp in the art world.
this was the first piece to strike my eye when I entered the painting studios. I didn’t know it was a work by Nicholas. it was part of an ‘ad hoc’ hallway display, there were no descriptive info, or artist labels.
it reminded me of the first anti-art brown ‘rug’ piece I had seen 10 years ago, by JOE BRADLEY. so funny, so quirky. so smart, so minimal, and soooooo .. outside the box.
I esp dug that ethereal, and unaccounted-for . . transparent, translucent, transformative (!!) hem . . at the bottom.
photo ‘realist’ art that makes the big .. shark jump to … non-objective !!
now you’re cooking. with MY MIND.
I believe that is DARREN WILL, with his back to us. he worked with Nicholas on the soundtrack for the ‘Swollen Foot’ project, and is a driving force in the Brooklyn-based, up and coming .. LUKE RATHBORNE band.
in the center of the room – Nicholas’ conscious, or was it unconscious (?!!) ode to grad school – esp in the visual arts .. and that would be:
the twin towers of: ‘commerce’ meets ‘skills/artistic vision’.
or simply put: commerce vs art.
an age-old battle, or maybe not.
not, if you read your history, and esp ancient history .. right.
Greeks, and all.
it got a ‘conceptual’ laugh out of me. though of course – it seemed friggin serious. and beautiful. at the time.
and so, does grad school. tell me about it.
and then, ya’ll come back, and hit the streets of New York City. again.
haha, it’s still summertime – so, let’s drink to that !!
and also because .. it spoke to intellectual, poetic, romantic, even heroic . . . VISIONS.
there was a sense of just how far and wide, a mind could travel.
there was a kind of bio-ness, a human-ness in what was really at heart, a purely ‘abstract’ platform & a simple squared-off abstract ‘image’.
it was the opposite of hyper-realism, yet in essence it was, an expression of .. hyper-realism, humanism at it’s best.
the proverbial .. mental ‘leap’.
the artistic transformative at work .. and, damn it, yes. that side is gonna win. no matter how pastel and ‘puny’ it looks – compared to that huge black gloomy paper dollar – giant black $$$.
you get .. the feeling, just through the visuals – that the ‘big’ $ money image on the opposing side .. was also freighted with .. it’s own sub-text of contrasts: mainly desire to achieve, and, yet .. damn you, F you – if it don’t .. ‘materialize’.
a kind of in-the-box, we live .. and so, yeah a pay day would be nice. but still, if it don’t materialize, you know what ?
this is what I do.
so .. you know what: f-ck you.
it’s called living inside the head of an artist – if he was .. John Malkovich, is all.
you can put an artist into a box – but that doesn’t mean you can keep him there. the gears in this brain .. are always working. always at play. always transforming. questioning, pushing boundaries. making plays. the big energy, and seriousness .. reminded me of the tales of the golden days of the long past New York City art scene of the Abstract expressionists.
and can we even say, then and now: ‘contrary’ r-u-l-e-d.
contrary is . . as contrary does.
abstract to narrative, sculpture to painting, and back again, in one big easy, beautiful .. swoop of the non-stop .. ‘mind’.
NICHOLAS STEINDORF. YALE MFA OPEN STUDIOS. APRIL 27-28, 2013.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH