Josh Goldstein’s Art is inspired by a fascination with the density, decay, and diversity of New York City. Things such as street signs, chinese take-out, menus, graffiti tags, and other urban culture influence his work. He uses salvaged plywood. He says, “It is my aim to re-contextualize the banalities of city life through my salvaged plywood constructions.” The subject matter in which he uses creates two worlds that do not mix; a salvage and broken plywood idea clashes yet is transformed to the urban culture of New York. Recently, Target commissioned him to design three billboards for Times Square; these will be a total of 6000 square feet.
Water Tank #1, 2010
Photographic collage on salvaged plywood,
This piece screams ‘America’. The red white and blue are iconic symbols of America, and many urban cultures fall into this nationalistic scheme. The water tank falls into the same idea as the salvaged plywood; it is not just any water tank. It looks like an old farm water tank that would serve the purpose of providing water for about three people in a ten mile radius; it completely defies New York City and the fact that it is in a 9X2 mile radius with millions of people, this water tank would not suffice. And I think that that is the point that Goldstein is trying to make; there is a difference between urban life and suburban life that he is capturing here.
Egg Foo Nosh, 2010
photographic collage on assorted salvaged plywood 50"x78"
Well I don’t really understand where he got the ‘Egg Foo’ part of this title but I did find the nosh words on the right hand side! I really enjoy the colors that he has experimented with here; it defies the brightness and loudness that comes with New York City. I think here he has focused on the Chinese Food or just fast food in general. The text he has used such as chow mein, fried rice, strictly kosher, hot dog king, checks cashed, chicken fish and steak, sandwiches, coffee, danger hollow sidewalk, roast pork, etc, plays into the urban food and urban city feel. The geometric squares in this layout fit like a puzzle and keep your eye moving throughout the entire piece, and the color also helps that: there is yellow, orange yellow, orange, red orange, red, red violet, violet, and all the shades in between for every single color. It is beautiful.
Chuleta Sunrise, 2009
Photographic collage on salvaged plywood
The title in this one leads one to the meaning behind it. This sunrise is a mixing pot of cultures that are involved in urban culture. The graphic sun is really interesting in this piece. There are no complete words in this piece except for the word Chuleta which he made part of the title. The staggering of the geometric patterns are really interesting in this ‘sunrise’ piece. The bright primary colors are something that is not seen in a sunrise, and I think it redefines what a sunrise is in terms of an urban setting.