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Art & Life with Toby Gotesman Schneier

Today we’d like to introduce you to Toby Gotesman Schneier .

Toby Gotesman Schneier, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Somewhat unbeknownst to me, I have always seen life through a kind of prism of COLOR and SHAPE… It was not my intention to become a painter…. It had never even occurred to me actually…

One day, almost 20 years ago, it just suddenly appeared into my hands…this ability to paint… this “gift”, if you will… To the extent that I now fully understand what it means to be “gifted” with something… It catches you by surprise… It’s a present wrapped in cellophane and tied with a silk ribbon…. The self-taught painting grew into a plan & then ultimately into a “CAUSE”… It became clear to me after only a few years that “tragedy” & “human suffering” were stories that needed to be told in BLAZING & UNABASHED COLOR and that it was my job to do so…

This was more of a visceral concept as opposed to an intellectual one…. Not a decision as much as an occurrence…
And it hit me like a ton of bricks that “Tragedy happens in COLOR”…that blood is RED… that the worst of times happen under cornflower BLUE SKIES, just as the best of times….

Hence, I began to paint the HOLOCAUST… Again, NOT a conscious decision, but rather, a need of sorts….

My family had survived the Concentration Camps… I began to paint allegories…scenes…somehow channeling through me… I often found myself weeping while painting these stories…. FEELING THEM…KNOWING THEM…
I created the Holocaust Collection over a five-year period… I suppose that it was noticed because of my unusual & unabashed use of color with regard to such heinous subject matter…

Over the past 6 months, very much the same thing happened to me when I came across, per chance, the HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT in my new town of Fort Lauderdale… The TRAGEDY of these peoples’ existences…
The colors of their tents…. the beauty of the tropics surrounding them…. The IRONY of this juxtaposition …
A collection of HOMELESS paintings resulted…. I was determined to depict this story… to HELP them in some way… The Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Dean Trantalis, took notice of the work and invited me to exhibit the HOMELESS paintings at City Hall for all to see… to create AWARENESS…to record the UN-RECORDED…

They are on exhibit there now through the end of November… This collection appears to be leading me somewhere new…. That’s my story encapsulated to date…

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I think that nobody CHOOSES to paint “Tragedy”… It chooses YOU… I am drawn always into some kind of need to depict “FULL DISCLOSURE”… Pursuing truth is the mission… Sharing it is the goal…

We live in a world filled with HUMAN SUFFERING… In many cases, we are fully capable of aiding in eradicating it…. But we remain silent and uninvolved…. My job appears to be bringing it to the forefront, An “IN YOUR FACE” kind of need to force people into action…

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
It’s ALWAYS a difficult path choosing ART as a full-time job as I do… My advice is to BELIEVE in yourself and in what you are creating… The authenticity will come through the work and will ultimately result in some measure of success… We can hope! lol

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My website is www.tobygotesmanschneier.com. The online store is on the site…

A significant percentage of the Homeless Collection sales goes directly to UNTITE WAY’s “HOMELESS INTIATIVE” here in South Florida… The Holocaust Collection has been exhibited in galleries, museums, etc. My goal is for the collection to be on permanent exhibit in a public arena…possibly a university… I welcome questions with regard to the acquisition of the works… My email is tobygotesmanschneier@gmail.com

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
NO WORDS,
TIME ESCAPING,
THE FAMILY,
BROTHERS IN AUSCHWITZ,
HOMELESS-CURVSIDE,
HOMELESS-FACE
ALL painted by & Copyright Toby Gotesman Schneier

Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. Kenneth Weinberg

    December 14, 2018 at 4:13 am

    Very nice Toby…Kenny

  2. Rachelle Kalika

    January 3, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Toby,

    I am so glad that your expressive art work continues to get the recognition it so deserves.

    Continued success!

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