Article related to mural:  Cliff Dwellers, Mona Lisa, Berry Brothers Boltworks
Title:   Larger Than Life
Author:   Alicia Kelso
Published In:   CityScene Magazine (ezine) - ArtScene section
Date:    no date
URL (when active):  http://www.columbuscityscene.org/larger_than_life.html

Larger Than Life

You know Curtis Goldstein better than you think. You've passed him on High Street, admired him on Pearl Street and toasted with him in Dublin.

His fingerprint is all over the city, including on the signature murals lining the Short North.

Goldstein, along with his wife, Michelle Attias, completed a 45-foot-high and 60-foot-wide mural that recreated George Bellows' Cliff Dwellers on the side of the Burgundy Room building at 641 N. High St. Goldstein restored the beloved Mona Lisa mural at 742-754 N. Pearl St., a Short North icon since 1986. He also painted a mural on the Berry Boltworks Building on East First Avenue; a six-panel golf mural at the Bogey Inn in Dublin; three historic murals in downtown Newark; and much more.

It would be impressive enough if his resume stopped there. But that's just not the way Goldstein works. "Public murals make art more accessible to the public. They build community pride and make people more aesthetically aware," he says. "But I could never focus on one concept. I can't pin myself down or limit myself, because I think I'd get bored."

So, Goldstein also paints cityscapes of Columbus that range from well-known landmarks to more obscure areas. He'll concentrate on anything from the inside of COSI to an old railroad bone yard. Additionally, he creates abstract paintings often inspired by his realistic urban images.

"I'll do a cityscape, then get excited by the way a certain light falls in the painting and then create another abstraction based on that light. I'm always working on different pieces simultaneously," Goldstein says. "My work has come full circle a little bit because my abstractions and my cityscapes are the results of my continual experiences in Columbus."

Techniques aside, it's obvious Goldstein takes pride in his hometown. That's partially the reason he was determined to incorporate a mural of a local artist (Bellows) among all of the European art represented throughout the city.

"Why not feature a local artist? That's how you're going to make Columbus more interesting to more people," he says. Accordingly, Goldstein's favorite subjects include old, authentic landmarks such as the North Market and the back of the Yankee Trader Building because they "add character to the city, helping to enrich the visual landscape and maintain a connection to the city's past."

In Goldstein's work, angles are purposeful and details are abundant. He often relies on the relationship between the old and the new, and seeks out the beauty in scenes that would otherwise seem ordinary. He has a distinct focus on architecture and history.

Goldstein's realism is strongly influenced by impressionism, which makes his paintings "heavy, juicy," he says. It's part of his experimental nature that's been inherent since he was a kid. He finished his first oil painting – of his neighbor's apple tree – when he was 4.

The 41-year-old Upper Arlington resident has since learned numerous techniques and styles, and continues to absorb and experiment, a habit that grew from painting giant billboards for companies like Honey Baked Ham and The Limited.

"You learn a lot when you're painting that big," Goldstein says. "But I've always wanted to have the biggest paintings and the biggest breadth of style."

Alicia Kelso is editor of CityScene Magazine.