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. 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.
(Belgian born American citizen, lives and paints in SoHo, New York City since 2008) Strosberg was trained by a German Expressionist painter and inspired by major realist painter and quintessential observer of the evolution of a society, Lucien Freud. Freud, who Strosberg has exhibited his work with, was fascinated to obsession with London nightclub personality, Leigh Bowery. Strosberg studied Graphic Design in Paris at Academie Julian and Morphology at Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts and, in 2010, was an artist in residence in China. He received a grant from The Shanghai Himalayas Art Museum to paint a series of Chinese country men which was exhibited at the Zendai Art Museum near Shanghai during the Olympic games. He was the recipient of the Jan Cockx Prize given by The Director of Mukha, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Antwerp (Belgium) and has exhibited with Lucian Freud and Philip Pearlstein in group shows at The Felix Nussbaum Museum (Germany) and The Musee de Pontoise (France). Strosberg has done more 15 solo shows including Artsenat (France), Elaine Baker Gallery (Florida), The Lionheart Gallery (New York), The Joodse Historisch Museum (Amsterdam), The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens (Palm Beach, Florida) and The Lighthouse Center for the Arts (Jupiter, Florida) and participated in 50 group shows in the USA and abroad. Recent solo exhibitions include GirlsGirlsGirls, Studio 26 Gallery, New York (2015) and Agalmatophilia, Paul Fisher Gallery, West Palm Beach (2014). His work is currently in 5 Museum collections and 130 private collections.
(Born in New Jersey, raised and resides in NYC). Fantasy jewelry is Mandel's means of expression along with his visual art. His work with Swarovski has adorned top models on the runways of Victoria's Secret fashion shows (2012/2013) and collected and curated by Museum of Modern Art and Design's Barbara Berger where he was artist-in-residence at the museum in 2013 and earlier at the Franz Meyer Museum Mexico 2011. He has been a member of the Art Students League since 1991 where he received a Revson grant in 1994 and participated in numerous group shows. Mandel participated in an installation at the Whitney Museum Gala 1989. He has also been involved in a number of group shows such as "T-20" at The Christopher Henry Gallery, NYC "Diamonds are a Boy's Best Friend" at the Casa Frela Gallery NYC, and the Iris Apfel exhibition at the Peabody Museum in Massachusetts. Swarovski Design Contest winner 2007 & 2008. Member of The Sculptor’s Guild, 2013 group show on Governor’s Island. Currently producing jewelry looks for the designer, Naeem Khan. From the beginning, his work has received global editorial coverage and is included in over a dozen books about jewelry.