This work merges interior and exterior concepts of space and self by exploring the relationship between body and architecture. The artist's paintings frequently feature a body interacting with the picture frame itself. Drawing from both art historical research and time spent traveling in Eastern Europe, the artist's work investigates and develops expressive and Brechtian approaches—such as asserting the artifice of the picture frame.
Bornstein's works conjure an invented world from the act of painting itself. The artist's highly physical narratives combine explorations of memory, observation and the imagination. Bornstein's compositions alternately employs luminous and muted light to depict a variety of characters drawn from the painter's life, folklore, media and the collective imaginary. The resulting scenes are familiar yet resist closed readings. The artist's works draw from his upbringing in New York City, and a wide variety of influences: a background in music and film; the graphic arts; American esoteric and psychedelic traditions; explorations of Ashkenazi storytelling; and the artist's frequent travels to study postwar European painting in Scandinavia, Central Europe and Eastern Europe.
Sam Bornstein’s paintings invent worlds by merging memory, observation and the imaginary into highly physical narratives. The artist’s compositions use both luminous and muted light to depict a variety of characters drawn from the painter's life, folklore, media and the collective imagination. Bornstein’s draws from a wide variety of influences: the artist’s upbringing in New York City and his background in music and film; the graphic arts; American esoteric and psychedelic traditions; Ashkenazi storytelling; and the artist’s frequent travels to study Postwar European painting in Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe.
Sam Bornstein was born in 1983 and grew up in New York City. The artist received an MFA from Hunter College in New York City in 2018.
Two solo exhibitions of Bornstein’s work have taken place at Charles Moffett in New York City.
Group exhibitions that have shown Bornstein’s work have taken place at: Bass and Reiner in San Francisco, California (2020); Embajada in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2019); Galerie Moderne in Silkeborge, Denmark (2018); Contra Gallery in Zagreb, Croatia (2018); and Ærø Kunsthal in Ærø, Denmark, (2018); among others.
Bornstein lives and works in New York City.