Robert Otto Epstein in his studio, Maplewood, NJ 2014
I recently had the opportunity to visit the Maplewood, NJ studio of painter Robert Otto Epstein.
Epstein's colorful and meticulous grid-based work draws from a variety of surprising sources and often employs color placement strategies related to chance or more formal systems devised by the artist.
In Epstein's case, however, the conceptual elements and source material can be seen as a means to an end that enhances the work but does not encompass it. The finished paintings move beyond their sources and become something all together different. Many times transcendent, the compositions and colors seem in flux and flow along the channels of their boundaries seeming at first abstract, then a mandala or landscape and then a ball player all within the borders of the same piece.
Epstein is very active in the Bushwick art scene and recently his work has been featured in exhibits at Mulherin + Pollard (NY), the Frank Juarez Gallery (WI) , and Life on Mars (NY) and in the one person exhibit Row By Roe at Matteawan Gallery in Beacon, NY.