Robert Otto Epstein, The Wild Magazine
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Robert Otto Epstein is Bringing Back the 8-bit Schemata

Robert Otto Epstein is an artist living and working in New Jersey, whose work is inspired by French deconstructionist philosophy/literary criticism. His infatuation with this field began in his early 20s, when he was absorbed by the writings of Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, and Jean-Francois Lyotard, et cetera. He is interested in the emphases deconstructionism places on reducing anything into its most basic form; this technique of removing what is coded for decorative and utilitarian purposes is the basis of his art practice.

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Epstein makes drawings and paintings based on existing patterns from stock image websites, knitted clothing and woven textiles. While these patterns were originally created to make a wearable garmet or to promote commercial sales, he selects them for a very different reason. He begins with the pattern’s original code and then reinterprets or simplifies it to fit his own needs, resulting in new meaning.

6__MG_2686indexEpstein begins by hand-drawing a grid onto paper and then making decisions regarding the transformation of the original image and the pattern’s colors, at times done by chance using the roll of a dice. He draws each of his patterns by hand, square-by-square and row-by-row, beginning at the bottom right corner, moving across each row and up the paper. He has recently been working on something new in his studio, using this same technique to create paintings on wood panels based on vintage baseball cards.

He currently has work in a group show at Mulherin + Pollard in New York, and will have a solo show next month in Beacon, New York along with an upcoming exhibition at the Drawing Center in September. 14_6__MG_7039newweb_v2

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Robert’s WILD Wish: To win the lottery or to receive a lifetime membership to my favorite New York delicatessen where I could walk in and get any deli sandwich any time for free.

text by: Kaelie Kelleher










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