Edwin Schlossberg is an American artist and designer with an influential career that has spanned five decades, starting in New York City in the 1960s. During his early years, he collaborated with the likes of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, even directing an art film starring Andy Warhol. Despite his ties to that era’s most iconic artists, Schlossberg had no trouble forging his own successful path as an artist and as the founder and principal designer of ESI Design, a design studio with inventive approaches to interactive design. He has an unparalleled ability to transform museums, cultural institutions, and retail spaces into dynamic, immersive experiences, including the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate, eBay’s Silicon Valley headquarters, Mount Fuji World Heritage Center, and Comcast’s Studio Xfinity. As an artist, his focus has been on exploring words, imagery, and unconventional materials and combining them to form visually intriguing and thought-provoking works that have landed on permanent display at the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and MoMA. Along with his art and design, he has authored 11 books, won the National Arts Club Medal of Honor in 2004, was appointed by President Obama to serve a four-year term on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts in 2011, all while serving on the Board of Directors for the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. This week’s Friday Five gets a rare look into the thoughts of this acclaimed, internationally recognized creative.
Water: Sense of making things is being in a flow and water is a symbol of that to me.
Hand: I wrote that the art of writing is creating something that lets other people think – my hand suggests that. (Editor’s note: This is based on a quote from Schlossberg himself: “The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.“)
Plants fluttering in the wind: The complexity and fragility of life inspires me to compose with that in mind.
People walking in the street: That life in movement stimulates me to create in the context of billions of people.
I object defy myself (art work): Thinking of myself as an object is always a mistake which I hope to not repeat.