I was teaching high school art in rural western Massachusetts in the mid-1970’s when I painted my first cows. There was a barnyard herd of Holsteins outside the school’s art studio. In the early light of one January morning, the snow from the previous night forged a seamless blend with the white of the black-and-white patterning of the Holstein hides. That random dance of tonal pattern, so suddenly observed, became a theme that informed my artwork ever since.
Several years later, I was in San Francisco for a few days, and was fortunate enough to visit a David Hockney exhibit of polaroid joiners. I was immediately taken with the idea of collaging one or two hundred photo images into a single snapshot moment that spanned hours, days, and even locations.
In the years that followed, landscape and photo collage portraits, frequently depicting rural scenes across America, dominated my work.
In 2002, I created eleven landscape collages for the permanent collection of the newly opened Tully Health Center of Stamford Hospital, Stamford, CT. During 2009-2010, my photo collage of an imagined artist studio, Align Through Time: The Painted Muse, The Pixilated Views, was exhibited in the triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. Mindell collage
My collages reflect a compositional juxtaposition of portrait, interior, or landscape photos that, in close examination, reveal visual impossibilities. Seen from a distance, the complexity of detail takes backseat to the simplicity of the larger experience.
I work in home studios in Accord, NY, and New York City, and my art addresses both urban and rural experiences. I paint mostly in oil, sometimes in acrylics, and in recent years have integrated painted images with digital collage technology.
Paul Mindell's work is in numerous private and corporate collections. Mindell received his BFA from the University of Michigan in 1972, and MAT from Rhode Island School of Design in 1979. He is Professor of Art at Bergen Community College, Paramus, New Jersey, where he’s been teaching since 1988.