Barry Feuerstein took a new path to abstract art.
Careers in carpentry and psychology education brought him to where he is today, showing his artwork on and off Long Island.
Feuerstein, of Westbury, has always been creative. While obtaining his bachelor’s degree from the City College of New York, he said loved taking and developing photos, but experimented in other mediums during his junior year. Graduating in 1972, he enlisted his painting professor’s help to get him into the master’s program for sculpture and photography.
“He warned me, it’s a difficult life,” Feuerstein said.
After completing his studies in 1975, he moved to a loft in Chelsea where he had time to craft large sculptures that he described as semi-minimal and semi-abstract.
He ventured into a career in carpentry and construction, and now is a fulltime artist. Feuerstein focuses his creativity in oil painting, while still making sculptures and capturing photos.
He describes his work as a mix of “art, science, and alchemy” on his website, Barry FeuersteinArtist.com., an idea that came from his time as a construction administrator.
“We were joking around with one of the other administrators, project managers or estimators, and we were kidding about what estimating was about — it’s an oxymoron, having an accurate estimate. It can’t be accurate and can’t be an estimate,” Feuerstein said. “Then we’re saying, well what comprises this? It’s part art, it’s part science and it’s part alchemy — art is the same thing.”
Feuerstein views much of his work as a combination of spirituality and emotion, and a dichotomy between abstract and minimalistic works.
He shows his work in many group and solo exhibits, one of which at the East Meadow Public Library.
He was recently selected for the annual juried members show put on by the Patchogue Arts Council at the Museum of Contemporary Art Long Island. Artists from the region submit pieces of work, and Feuerstein’s was among the 30 selected for the display. The exhibit runs until Sept. 24.
The museum is located at 20 Terry Street, Suite 116, in Patchogue.
Senior curator at the museum, John Cino, said that the artist’s work is placed between two other pieces with natural colors and tones.
“He looks into both matters of science and religion, and he’s finding a place where they overlap,” Cino said of Feuerstein work.
Feuerstein is also a member of Westbury Arts, a non-profit organization that hosts art exhibits, programs and concerts. Feuerstein has shown much of his work through the organization, but also helped curate a show at Salisbury Tavern in Westbury. He’s grown close with its president, Julie Lyon, and her husband Tom Cabrera, who also creates abstract art.
“It’s been an interesting blossoming of our relationship personally and getting to know each other,” Lyon said, “and all of that happened through the art.”
Feuerstein has work on display with Westbury Arts, in the show titled “Inspiration Rediscovered,” going on through Sept. 29.
To see his work, the gallery is located at 255 Schenck Ave. in Westbury.
“He brings other elements beside just the paint to the canvas to give it a more three dimensional effect, that once again just brings this wealth of motion and color to the work,” Lyon said. “It’s one of those things, like you want to stand there and stare at it longer, because every time you look at it, you see something different.”
Feuerstein’s work is also currently being shown at Omni Gallery in Uniondale, at 333 Earle Ovington Blvd.
“It’s exciting because you’re creating, hopefully, something more meaningful each time,” Feuerstein said.