Santa Fe, New Mexico resident Gelbart is a painter and mixed media sculptor with an Architectural Rendering and Design background. He emigrated from Germany as a young child. He has studied at Southern Connecticut University, The University of Wisconsin and Pratt Institute and taught at Paier Art School, Fairfield University and the Creative Arts Workshop.
He has exhibited solo in galleries in New Haven, New York City; in musuems in Las Cruces (NM), Stamford (CT) and Lincoln (MA), and in group exhibitions in New Mexico, Arizona, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Connecticut. He is the recipient of several arts awards and grants.
His work is in the Public collections of the New York Public Library, the Yale University Library, the DeCordova Museum (MA) and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities as well as in private collections.
For me, the imaginative process almost always involves working within a “series concept”. These series concepts can be both cerebral and light-hearted at the same time. The sereies becomes the “vehicle” that drives ideas and guides the creation of specific images and shapes.
Past series have include: “Burden Figures” (pertaining to the Holocaust), “Eg’shels” (lithographs showing eggshells and nude images), “Landscapes” (abstract watercolor paintings), “Wheels 1” (buildings, faces, housepin sculptures and animals on wheels), “Wheels 2″ (paintings of automobiles),”Chairs296” (abstract paintings and sculpture of the chair form), “PanChair” (abstract images derived from the chair form), “PanChairMan” (a continuation and evolution of the PanChair series into abstract figurative shapes), “RV series” (inkjet prints of the rear view or, derriere if you will.)
My current series is entitled “shreddings” and stems from the ever-increasing importance of data in our lives. The premise is simple: in order to safeguard our identities, our shreddings with all the their important and confidential information should be kept and carried with us at all times.
To visualize this very serious issue, I began with a playful concept. Making sculptures and calling them “luggage” and “atps”, air travel pouches. These would be the carriers for the digits of data and pieces of paper that document our lives, our shreddings. In the paintings, shreddings are represented through singular paint strokes and masking tape with text superimposed onto the surfaces. The text represents the still visible and confidential data on the shreddings. This text is applied using the “Le Corbusier font”, an early twentieth century font named after the Swiss architect.
Initially, the masking tape created a precise shape to represent the larger shreddings. However, these rectangles evolved into a more informal image, allowing paint to stray beyond the very sharp edges of the tape. In addition, the multi-layering and placement of these shapes creates the motion, direction and flow of shreddings falling through a shredding machine into the container below.Today, don’t leave home without your “shreddings” is both a warning and a requirement.