Robert Otto Epstein currently lives and works in Maplewood, NJ. In the last year, sites such as Little Paper Planes, The Art Cake, and Uprise Art have featured his work online. His current body of work consists of drawing and painting on paper based on vintage knitting designs and turn of the century lace patterns for domestic textiles. He received his BA from the University of Pittsburgh.
“I’m intrigued by the representation of the body inherent in instructional charts for garments, as well as the coded nature of the signs an symbols cast in torso and sleeve designs. I’m also interested in the dialogue of antique fabric diagrams and the 80s 8-bit renderings in my paintings. My primary interests are in modes of production or ‘the machinery of making.’ I like to consider the body at work in the vain of Gilles Deleuze’s ‘desiring machine’—as a kind of round-the-clock factory model where the assembly of ‘being’ and ‘doing’ and its creative wares are one in the same. As such, my paintings are as much about the repetitive, mechanistic process that I perform as they are about the final product.
I find that painstakingly rendering patterns in graphite/paint on paper subverts their original purpose from decorative and utilitarian to something that is purely formal and without function. The paintings become an admixture of the classical and the contemporary—a flattened and pixilated adaptation of imagery intended for the production of fiber arts and textiles.”