New York artists Serge Strosberg and David Mandel fuse the visual language of Flemish and German portraiture with fantasy jewelry and fabric design. Both artists present a very contemporary and unlikely mixture of works heavily inspired by their personal histories characterized by decadence and eccentricity of the NYC club era, particularly the many meme's of London club personality Leigh Bowery and Imperial Court drag adding an exuberant and human touch to the contemporary art scene.
These contemporary alchemists transform “lead into gold”.
StrosbergMandel combine oil/enamel painting with an assemblage of carefully chosen materials and multi-layered techniques using crystals, feathers, metal and luxe fabrics.
This collaboration evokes the dichotomy of the Flemish Van Eyck brothers or of German portraitist Holbein, where the representation of beauty and wealth hide a dark spiritual reality and fragility of life. The ebb & flow in the work, physically kinetic or implied, is symbolic of life – in the guise of Memento Mori.
Independent curator and critic and former director of the Neuberger Museum Dominique Nahas recently found affinities with the intensity and immediacy of the psychical connection which StrosbergMandel’s portraits seem to convey with the renowned Faiyum mummy panel portraits of the Egyptian Hellenistic period.