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Who We Are

Fiercely Curious is an online art & design collective based in Brooklyn.

We believe in connecting directly with the artists and designers.

erin@fiercelycurious.com

Shane Neufeld
About Shane
Shane Neufeld is an architect, painter and writer. He received his BA in Fine Arts in 2004 from Amherst College, where he studied painting and literature, and his Master's degree in 2009 from the Yale School of Architecture. Neufeld’s work is cross-disciplinary. He continues to produce art in addition to pursuing a career as an architect. Neufeld’s projects have been exhibited at Jeff Bailey Gallery in New York City and Alpha Gallery in Boston, among others. He has completed several built projects that include an Urban Farm in Manhattan’s Battery Park, RAMPed Up, a USGBC National Competition Winner for an affordable house in New Orleans, and more. Neufeld spent three years after graduate school working for Rogers Marvel Architects and currently runs his own practice, Shane Bernhard Neufeld Architects, while teaching at New Jersey School of Technology as an adjunct professor in the School of Architecture.

Shane lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Shane 's Process
In a world in which information may be disseminated easily and replicated with exhausting exactness, these images invert the typical relationship between the technical process of reproduction and content. Whereas typically, digital methods are intended to precisely reproduce archetypes, the images exploit digital techniques to perform just the opposite: to upend our traditional expectation of the machine and instead use it’s methods for purely imprecise and unique results. Thus, the technical process informs content rather than merely reproduces it. The result is a hybrid image that exudes traces of both a digital and human world.

Art by Shane


In conversation with Shane

Erin: What are you curious about?

Shane: I’m curious about how I can use the digital tools I picked up in architecture school to re-think the way I typically produce images. I come from a background in representational art, where the subject of space and figure traditionally provide meaning. Now, I’m attacking the process inversely, constructing images that are no longer representational and where meaning, I hope, is something that emerges out of the process of construction rather than illusion.
Erin: Describe your art and describe your process.

Shane: The process begins with a sketch. Using brightly colored markers, I draw fluid, uninterrupted lines that vary in color, overlap and produce repeatable patterns. I then scan the drawing and manipulate the image through a subtle rotation of the paper during the process. The skewed result is then brought into photoshop where the colors are adjusted, the image multiplied, mirrored and copied. At this point I stop trying to add complexity and instead, begin simplifying the image into distinct layers with respect to color. These layers are then exported into CAD software in which the line work is “rebuilt” and further simplified in order to create seamless vectors that can be scaled to any size without the loss of information. Vectors are then organized by layer and can be turned on and off depending on the print, much like a “silk screen”. The final product uses both the printed image along with manually applied paint to produce singular, textured works of art.

Erin: Having been born and bred in Brooklyn, how does the city continue to inspire you?

Shane: Coming from Brooklyn gives me a lot of street cred. I always look back on my days as a baller for valuable source of inspiration.
Erin: You went back to school to get your Master's in Architecture from Yale. How does that influence your artwork?

Shane: What I enjoyed most about architecture school is that it challenged my creative assumptions. Architecture functions at a scale unlike that of art. It’s large, complicated, cross disciplinary and requires a team of people rather than a single individual. Because there’s so much coordination, architects have to communicate effectively and purposefully and, most importantly, follow rules. I’ve tried to bring that type of intention to my art, and to use constraints as way of structuring the creative process so that it can become more accessible to others.
Erin: I see you as constantly studying and working- figure drawing at the Invisible Dog, learning new computer programs, oil painting landscapes in New Hampshire. How do you stay focused while exploring so many different mediums and techniques?

Shane: I try not to worry about this. I produce whatever it is I enjoy making when I want to make it and then I take a moment or two, every now and then, to look back and reflect on the various creative pathways I’ve taken in an attempt understand how all the dots connect. I enjoy a process where making and thinking are not constantly aligned. However, in the end, I am searching for a consistency evident in all of the work.
Shane's apartment showing his large landscape works
Erin: How did you find the process of combining paint with your digital artwork?

Shane: When I first started this series, I produced prints that were flat, textureless and reproducible. Visually, I found them stimulating but was disappointed by their lack of texture. Printing felt too “easy” and I questioned the one to one relationship between the digital and printed image. Furthermore, the ease tended to place considerable weight with respect to content rather than the means of production - a balance I soon realized I wished to invert. I began to focus on the methods by which I could manipulate paper’s surface - applying paint, for example, as a device to create texture so that the application of ink would be varied rather than consistent. At this point, I’m using multiple layers of paint - enamel, acrylic and spray paint - sandwiched between layers of printed ink. And surprisingly, the process has revealed many unintended visual effects far beyond what I originally expected.
Erin: One thing you said during our interview was that as soon as you see your work as being "successful," it's the first piece that you want to sell. Why?

Shane: Despite the attachment I might have to “successful” works, I’ve learned it’s best to get them out of the studio as soon as possible so you can begin to make something even better. The problem with holding onto your best work is that the image lingers, often times stifling my ability to move forward. The creative pathway gets blocked and I tend to mimic what I have already accomplished rather than produce original work. Mimicry only creates less meaningful versions of the original and I have found this to be unsatisfying and unproductive.

Erin: What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given and by whom?

Shane: Looking good is half the battle. My baseball coach when I was a kid.

Erin: What's the best piece of advice you would give to a young artist?

Shane: Try and find a way to differentiate yourself with your skills.

Erin: Order or Chaos?

Shane: Chaos

Erin: Details or Big Picture?

Shane: Details

Erin: What book has most inspired you recently?

Shane: Swimmy, by Leo Lionni
Shane's bookcase

See all of Shane 's work

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