Sam Bornstein (b. 1983, New York; works in New York. MFA Hunter College 2017, BFA Bard College 2005.) Bornstein’s layered figurative paintings evoke an invented world that mirror contemporary life and personal narratives through the filter of the imagined. In alternately luminous and muted light, a variety of characters from New York City, folklore, media, and the collective imaginary coexist in scenes that are familiar, yet resist closed readings. Often portraying multiple figures involved in ambiguous tasks, work, or leisure, his works play with perception of reality and dream states, creating a sense of familiarity that requires the viewer to apply their own experiences in order to complete the narrative. The paintings' tension of material and image often refer back to the act of painting, and recall Postwar and Modernist painters from Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe.