• Every Bit Columbus: Curtis Goldstein’s Urban Niche

    Date posted: December 11, 2008 Author: jolanta
    Columbus artist Curtis Goldstein’s creative fingerprint is found literally all over the city, from signature murals lining the bustling arts district, the Short North, to corporate collections displayed along the hallways of downtown high-rises and suburban golf clubs. Goldstein’s 45-by-60-foot mural recreating George Bellows’ Cliff Dwellers is one of the initial sites heading into the Short North from the south. He (along with the help of his wife, Michelle Attias) was inspired to paint the entirety of the Burgundy Room building with this work simply because Bellows is “every bit Columbus.” “I looked around and saw a lot of recreated work and murals of European artists and I thought that was rather self-loathing,” Goldstein said. “Why not feature a local artist? That’s how you’re going to make Columbus more interesting to more people.” Image

    Alicia Kelso is the managing editor of CityScene Magazine, which covers arts and entertainment in the Central Ohio area.

     

    Image
    Curtis Goldstein, Behind the Yankee Trader. Courtesy of the artist.

     

    Columbus artist Curtis Goldstein’s creative fingerprint is found literally all over the city, from signature murals lining the bustling arts district, the Short North, to corporate collections displayed along the hallways of downtown high-rises and suburban golf clubs.

    Goldstein’s 45-by-60-foot mural recreating George Bellows’ Cliff Dwellers is one of the initial sites heading into the Short North from the south. He (along with the help of his wife, Michelle Attias) was inspired to paint the entirety of the Burgundy Room building with this work simply because Bellows is “every bit Columbus.” “I looked around and saw a lot of recreated work and murals of European artists and I thought that was rather self-loathing,” Goldstein said. “Why not feature a local artist? That’s how you’re going to make Columbus more interesting to more people.”

    Goldstein’s repertoire is far more extensive than this local favorite, however. He has painted numerous murals all over the city, including in the suburbs of Dublin and Newark, and has increased his cityscape inventory to go along with his abstract collection. The former includes subjects ranging from well-known Columbus landmarks to more obscure areas on the outskirts of town—from the inside of the historic North Market and Yankee Trader buildings to an old, rundown railroad yard. His inspiration tends to emerge from the surprisingly, or abnormally, aesthetic. “My desire is to encourage appreciation of the less-than-perfect, the slightly worn, the presently outdated, which is cyclical anyways,” Goldstein said. “My paintings document the strata of urban change, the relationship between new and old, and the character this gives to a city. Decay can be beautiful as it is a reminder of our own humanity, history, fragility, and natural state of flux. There is beauty in the ordinary, and its potentiality for rebirth and renewal.”

    Perhaps ironically, his cityscapes are what inspire his abstract creations. “I’ll do a cityscape, then get excited by the way a certain light falls in the painting and then create another abstraction based on that light,” Goldstein said. “My abstractions and my cityscapes are the results of my continual experiences in Columbus.” Such experiences are extensive, detailed. Goldstein was born and raised in Columbus, and finished his first oil painting—of his neighbor’s apple tree—when he was four. This experimental nature continues for the 42-year-old, who is constantly searching for public art projects that will make “Columbus more artistically exciting,” including more murals. “Murals make art more accessible to the public. They build community pride and make people more aesthetically aware,” Goldstein said. “You learn a lot when you’re painting that big. …I’ve always wanted to have the biggest paintings and the biggest breadth of style.”

    www.curtisgoldstein.com

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