Los Angeles-based artist Cole Sternberg’s latest paintings are a potent urban commentary reflecting on environmental expansiveness, civic folly and egocentric culture. Owing more to pop culture than bound to art history, the works evoke a graphic tradition that suits the content. Persuasively capturing metropolitan life through the use of a limited color palette, his economical commitment to mark-making foreshadows a chaotic landscape slouching towards an apocalyptic future.
Painting at his Beverly Hills studio, the artist displays a winning smile and a restless eagerness that oddly cohabits with a timely critical sensibility. “There’s a social undercurrent that runs throughout this body of work—a desire to question the way we treat the environment, each other, and the silly things that our culture values,” explains the busy artist.
This questioning manifests in paintings that engage the viewer in a dialog of the obvious, while addressing relevant issues. Sternberg states that his “seemingly dystopian world view also inherently implies a rebirth for our shared culture—a breakthrough that follows the breakdown.”
Beyond any overt conceptual context, the works also succeed as paintings, engaging his audience on an aesthetic level—always a welcome occurrence.