Spring 2014

Colin Goldberg mixes paint and print

Colin Goldberg mixes paint and print
Daniel Gonzalez
Colin Goldberg explores the interaction between abstraction and technology.

The drive to the home and studio of Colin Goldberg ’94 is a journey to the other Long Island — the part unspoiled by subdivisions and strip malls. The setting might easily inspire rural-themed art, yet Goldberg produces futuristic pieces that combine printing and paint. His work has attracted a following in the New York art scene, and in 2013 he earned a prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant to support his career. 

“I began with abstract drawings in Adobe Illustrator but started thinking about what would happen if I could make a painting and then print on top of it,” Goldberg says. “I modified my printer, removing the roller wheels, and it worked. The grant allowed me to add a large-format printer to my studio, allowing me to create work on a larger scale.”

Goldberg runs his own design firm alongside his art studio. After graduating from Binghamton, he developed websites for New York advertising agencies, then earned his MFA from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

“A lot of what I do comes from saying, ‘this looks really cool on top of that,’” he says. “I used to get grilled in grad school to explain what my work is about. Other students would say my work had to be about something. If I had to pin it down, my work is primarily an exploration of abstraction and technology and how they interact.”

Goldberg credits Binghamton Professor Angelo Ippolito with introducing him to abstract expressionism. Ippolito, who died in 2001, continues to inspire his student.

“I didn’t have a solid appreciation for abstract art at the time,” Goldberg says. “[Ippolito] would always say the work was about paint. It wasn’t trying to portray anything. It was about the process and the materials, and the viewers could bring to it whatever they wished.”

Despite the high-tech feel of his creations, Goldberg says he’s not a fan of most digital art. He feels computer-animated cartoons and similar works are almost too perfect. The element of the hand, he says, is often lost.

“I’m interested in the duality between control and accident,” he says. “I print something and throw paint on it. If I like it, I print on top of it. I want control and chance to play against each other.”