Photo: Rick Wenner
Colin Goldberg is an American artist born in the Bronx, New York in 1971. The artist coined the term Techspressionism in 2011 for use as the title of a solo exhibition. It was first described as a movement in this 2014 WIRED article and was elaborated upon in this 2015 PBS interview with the artist. He holds a MFA in Computer Art from BGSU and is a recipient of grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts. Goldberg’s works reside in the permanent collections of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, Stony Brook University Hospital and the Islip Art Museum. Goldberg served as a guest panelist for “Abstract Expressionism in the 21st Century Part 2”, a symposium held at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton, and was a guest speaker at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, NY for PechaKucha Hamptons in 2019.
The artist was born in the Bronx, New York in 1971 to parents of Jewish and Japanese ancestry, both chemists by training. His maternal grandmother Kimiye Ebisu was an accomplished calligrapher who lived and practiced in Honolulu and taught in both the United States and Japan.
Goldberg grew up in Southampton, New York, where his father was a Chemistry professor at Southampton College. The artist first experimented with digital art as a high school student in the 1980’s using his family’s home computer, a Commodore 64 and a light pen.
The artist’s education and training spans both the traditional and digital arts. As an undergraduate at Binghamton University, Goldberg studied painting under Abstract Expressionist painter Angelo Ippolito. During the summer of 1992, Goldberg worked as a studio assistant for artist Steve Miller, with whom he has subsequently collaborated with in an artistic capacity on multiple projects.
After graduating from Binghamton in 1994 with a BA in Studio Art, Goldberg moved to Williamsburg Brooklyn, where he established his first painting studio. Shortly thereafter, Goldberg moved across the East River to East Village in downtown Manhattan, where he got a job at a small multimedia shop developing CD-ROM titles.
When the web became available to the public in 1994, Goldberg learned how to code HTML and became involved in the online industry at its inception, producing and designing launch websites for many prominent consumer brands, including Popular Science, GOLF Magazine, and Snapple. This work allowed him to develop a broad skillset spanning computer graphics and digital media production which he has incorporated into his studio practice.
In 1995, Goldberg was commissioned by Earth Day to create digital photomontages which were projected onto the Empire State Building and other New York City monuments for Earth Day’s 25th anniversary celebration. During his time in the East Village, Goldberg collaborated with other artists involved in the downtown NYC art scene such as digital art pioneer Joseph Nechvatal.
Stylistically, the artist’s work is informed by a diverse range of influences, including Japanese calligraphy and woodcuts, graffiti and 3D wireframe models. From an art-historical standpoint, New York School Abstract Expressionists, most notably Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline, have informed the artist’s appreciation of the subconscious and gestural mark-making. Pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg were predecessors who also re-contextualized commercial art tools (screen-printing for the Pop artists, and now large-format digital printing for Techspressionists) into their studio practices.
The artist has lived in Southampton (New York), Sydney (Australia), Manhattan’s East Village, Williamsburg (Brooklyn), “The Fens” (Boston), and Long Island’s North Fork. He currently lives and works on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife Donna, their daughter Aya, and their cats Julie and Candace.