On a sunny afternoon in early October, I could feel autumn creeping in as I arrived at the Lewis Center where I met artist Edo Rosenblith. Exploring the Lewis Center and surrounding block, one would think this complex was just more vacant school buildings. Well, one is, but the Lewis Center is actually home to WUSTL Graduate art studio facilities. Once I found out how to get into said facility, I met Rosenblith and had a wonderful discussion about his work and a few other topics I’ll get to later.
Rosenblith’s studio fills the corner of a larger room, encompassed by other artist’s studios. Three large, black triangles stand on easels in one corner, a drafting table faces a window in another. A large wall is covered in clippings Edo has found online or in magazines, used as reference in his work. Artwork from his former students line another wall. Books, zines, cutting mats, paint pens and other supplies are neatly lying about and tucked away.
The triangular panels are a project Rosenblith is currently working on. One can see the intricate correlating drawing portraying Rosenblith’s vision hanging on the wall nearby. He described the triangular canvases as break from the traditional form used, like squares or rectangles. The triangles present a different way to peer into the space Rosenblith creates. Also hanging on the wall is a piece called The Cutter, which will be up for auction at Art:314, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis’s silent auction and party, later this month. The Cutter is what initially sparked my interest in Rosenblith’s work- dark, grotesque and distorted images displaying satirical scenes in complex collages.
It’s interesting to note that Rosenblith’s most recent work is devoid of color. Two years ago he removed color from his work because he found himself using color but arbitrarily, adding little to the content of his work. In retrospect, Picasso’s black and white paintings may have turned him onto this concept.
Rosenblith’s spectrum of work ranges from paintings and murals, to zines, drawings, printmaking and ceramics. He enjoys painting murals because the surface is much bigger than himself and it’s a whole body experience rather than sitting at a table and drawing. One of his murals can be seen at local coworking center TechArtista.
What Dorthea Did, a collaborative zine by poet Paul Legault and Rosenblith, was recently published by Fort Gondo. Legault wrote poems while Rosenblith created correlating artwork, dedicated to Dorothea Lasky. Cops, published by Keepeyes, a San Francisco based print publication, is another zine where Rosenblith’s recent artwork can be found. One of the drawings with the headline HOW TO CURE SCHIZOPHRENIA is based on a true story of police brutality concerning the mentally ill.
Upon moving back to St. Louis after attending RISD, Rosenblith started a blog of his daily art practice. The blog gained attention and the drawings posted turned into a book called Pink, published by Fort Gondo. Rosenblith’s work can also be found in in the latest edition of New American Paintings #119.
Towards the end of my studio visit, Rosenblith showed me some of his free-drawings and gave me a little tour of other artist studios in the Lewis Center. I was taken away by how much creativity is housed there. The Lewis Center is a hidden oasis for artists- print studio, paint booth and shop all there. I left in awe of this magnificent workplace, wishing I could also work alongside a collective of creatives.
I couldn’t leave without asking Rosenblith about Broad City, especially after finding out he was a fan. We discussed the difference in authenticity and comedic style, using HBO’s Girls as a comparison, and ultimately decided BC over Girls. He shared details about his favorite episode Coat Check where Ilana has a torrid love affair with her doppelgänger. I really need to catch up on season two, apparently.
Like I previously mentioned, Rosenblith’s piece The Cutter along with work by more than 40 other St. Louis artists will be up for auction at Art:314 Friday, October 16 8pm – midnight. The event benefits CAM’s annual celebration of local artists, Open Studios STL, and the Front Room exhibition series, highlighting national emerging artists. Post-auction, the evening continues with a DJ, open bar and party. Check out other participating artists here. Tickets are $35, which is an absolute steal considering the OPEN BAR. Plus, the possibility of going home with an original piece from a local artist sounds quite appealing.
Won’t you join me? Stay tuned for a special promo code for a $10 off early bird coupon code.
Special thanks to Edo for letting me into his studio and talking with me. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.