analyzing the nature of by examining in detail
My word is “unpacking” or “untangling.” Over time, I have realized that these two activities relate to just about all of my interactions with the outside world, and are highly involved with my dyslexia.
I think in more an abstract packet of all the information I have, which slowly needs to be unpacked in almost the same way that words on a page need to be examined for their parts. It's the same conversationally. If asked a question, it takes me a little while to unpack the ball of rubber bands into one.
This is where it all relates to the freehand paper cuts you see in this exhibition today. With work like this, there is no eraser, so each move must be considered as to how it will affect the final outcome from almost the beginning. Yet there is no drawing or sketch, just a single sheet of black paper that contains the contents of everything I have ever learned or seen, and the piece must be “unpacked.”
The process of cutting this paper has me in constant search of balance, happiness and sorrow, from masculine to feminine, from nature to man-made, from fantasy to reality, from screaming about the devastation of the planet to recognition of my part in destroying it, from the pleasure of a beautiful pattern to the assault of breaking it.
For all the gut-level feelings I have about the current state of our world, I am allowed to reduce those feelings into simple shapes like letters in an alphabet so I can finally express what I am incapable of writing, and that is my freedom.
Artist at large Adam Eli Feibelman, originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, has lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1997.
Honored with the California College of the Artsʼ Yozo Hamaguchi scholarship, Adam pursued a double major there in illustration and printmaking. Degree in hand, Adam went on to develop a mode of working all his own, in multiple-layer, hand-cut photorealistic stencil paintings. A hallmark of Adamʼs artistic efforts is the palpable evolution in his process. Thus, over time, the tools of his trade became the focus of his work, sewing together and assembling the paper stencils to make abstractions of the images he had painted. His stencil assemblies continue to be exhibited nationally and internationally and have been favorably reviewed several times.
“Feibelman's intricate cutouts have an abstract look at first, but their details gradually sort themselves into images of water, vessels and shorelines. I have seen nothing else quite like them,” said Kenneth Baker, former art critic of the San Francisco Chronicle.
In a more recent write-up concerning Adamʼs 2017 conceptual exhibition about immigration, Charles Desmarais of the Chronicle said, “A combination of thoughtful criticism and biting wit.” “Feibelmanʼs is a marvel of stencil-cut paper, a hand-worked tribute to traditional weavers of the 17th century.”
The evolution in Adamʼs work continues its experimentation with materials in service to his ideas, creating an increasingly broad repertoire, which has enabled a push into the world of public art. Adam has been featured on television (Spark, KQED), and on NPR, in Harperʼs magazine and Juxtapoz. His work has been included in traveling museum exhibitions, he has received multiple private grants, has been artist-in-residence at the Tamarind Institute. His work is in the collections of Kevin King, Neil Young, and in the permanent collection of the de Young.
For several years, Adam has been accepting private and public commissions, which by now include eight pieces for the 49ersʼ Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, a four-story, load-bearing cut-steel staircase in a private residence in Palo Alto, CA, and a 173-linear-foot, cut-steel permanent installation at the Golden State Warriorsʼ Chase Center in San Francisco. (To name a few!)
He is currently working on two major public works, one for the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), the other for the County of San Mateo, CA.
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