Painting an Icon (Again and Again)

Brooklyn-based artist Robert Goldstrom has painted one building, the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, 108 times and counting — in every season, weather, time of day, and from every possible angle.  Goldstrom never intended to paint one subject so obsessively, but since starting the series in 2002, he has found the 37-story Art Deco clock tower endlessly inspiring.


“As the sky and weather change, the building changes,” says Goldstrom, who lives in Clinton Hill.  “It can be warm or silvery or fogged-in, with glowing orange hands, or steam coming out the top. It can be front-lit or back-lit. Shadows pass across it.  Depending where you are standing, it can be a sliver or a massive hulk.  It has such emotional presence.”


Goldstrom (who also paints fish, people, and other Brooklyn scenes) came to Brooklyn from his native Detroit in 1979 after studying art and English at the University of Michigan.  He is represented by Brooklyn’s Underbridge Pictures and Carrie Haddad in Hudson, N.Y.

You can see a few of his ‘Bank paintings’ each weekend at the Winter Pop-Up Antiques Market in DUMBO, where his partner, David Sokosh, a restorer of antique clocks, displays them alongside his own wares.

“Brooklyn has wonderful light,” Goldstrom says. But it’s not just the quality of the light. “It’s what the light hits.”


About cara

I blog (for fun) here at casaCARA, and write (for money) about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites.
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