European magazine and arbitrator of radness, Hercules, did a feature on NYC Artists, excited to be dressed in Dior Homme, shot by Cameron Krone and featured along amazing people like Kim Gordon and Enoc Perez. Here's the textual bit of the piece:
NYC ARTIST PORTFOLIO PART TWO – COLE STERNBERG
For generations, ambitious and fascinated artists have flocked to the magnetic field that is New York City, in search of constant inspiration and the big break. The city’s electrifying effect often becomes an active element in the work that is subsequently produced, as evident in many artists on the contemporary art scene. HERCULES UNIVERSAL has selected a few artists who define what it means to be making art in New York today. While in many ways these artists are diverse, all are producing work that speaks of New York’s current artistic climate. How do they navigate and what are their vantage points? And what about their relationship with The City of Skyscrapers? Stay close, and in the next weeks you’ll find out…
“When you got something to say, say it by any means”, seems to be the motto of busy Cole Sternberg, whose diversity has him work tirelessly between a wide range of disciplines, from traditional painting and video installation, to performance art and even political activism, in order to convey his message. Although his work tends to be elegantly subtle and subversive, it often carries serious political statements, once you scratch the surface. A quick glance at the prolific Sternberg’s current projects bear witness to an artist whose output is both steady and impressive. At the moment he is amongst other projects, addressing the flawed concepts of freedom in a poetry book; working on a performance piece, which will see him travel across the world with an industrial shipping vessel; as well as planning an environmental takeover of a residence in the Faena House, Miami.
How do you relate New York with your work? I’m not sure I consciously do. My work tends to deal with issues on macro and micro levels and New York in my mind falls somewhere in-between. But, seeing the garbage bags piled up on the sidewalk, the dirty snow or the 10 million dollar apartment on the same block as subsidized housing highlights my macro concerns of environmental disaster and the lack of a middle class as we regress to a feudalistic society. New York is an extremely dense environment both socially and physically. Which one would you say has a larger impact on your work? These things tend to go hand in hand. But, I’d say the social output of the city certainly influences my work to a great degree. My inspirations of the 20th century have largely grown from or spent much time in this city. Whether it is Ray Johnson, Marcel Duchamp, Hans Hofmann or hundreds of others, they all spent a significant amount of time in New York, and it influenced their work and hence mine, at least on a subversive level. How has the location you grew up in affected your process, and does this continue to influence your practice today? I grew up in a few places, including Virginia, California and Germany. Regardless of the location, as a child, I was fascinated by texture, touching paintings when no one was looking. History and humankind’s flaws also amazed me. I saw first hand both the missions of California and Dachau concentration camp on field trips. These images and ideas ingrained in childhood have never left, but I don’t think they’re related to a specific location. What you are currently working on? I am currently working on a body of work entitled ‘trade theories of an obsessive state’ which addresses the trade relationships between east and west and the societal and environmental affects of these relationships on our interconnected world. The main piece consists of a full-sized shipping container in which a replica of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling is installed. The replica Michelangelo is being painted by Chinese oil reproduction artisans and the work will travel from Xiamen, China to Hong Kong where it will go on a massive shipping vessel. I will travel with the work form Xiamen to Hong Kong and then across the Pacific, around Cape Horn and dock in Miami, chronicling the entire journey in film, photograph, drawings and writing.
PORTRAITS BY CAMERON KRONE. TEXT BY SOL MARINOZZI.
STYLIST: KATIE BURNETT AT ATELIER MANAGEMENT.
GROOMER: RACHEL TOLIN AT THE WALL GROUP.
PRODUCER: KIM WIRT.
FIRST LEFT, “THE SENATOR NOW FELT MOVED TO EXTRACT THE LAST OUNCE OF ENJOYMENT FROM THE SITUATION BY REFRESHING HIS OWN AND THE OTHERS MINDS WITH THE LESS IMPORTANT DETAILS”, 2013.