What kind of art?
I am decidedly a multimedia artist: A painter/illustrator, web designer/programmer, graphic designer, motion and sound maker... A cross-roads artist where elements have discussions and collaborate.
The majority of my work has been visual, both screen-based and physical, often incorporating type, mostly 2-D, sometimes static, but often in motion. Much of it has been interactive.
To see for yourself, please select an image to launch the gallery:
Why make it?
I love communication and communication design, and I also love out-and-out experimentation. I share art, sell art, and keep art — but at heart, I make it just to make it. Although in recent years web design and illustration have been focal, I remain active in an array of mutually supportive forms.
Please select a topic to read more:
Websites offer the unique advantage of concurrent vantage points. Inter-linked pages create a breadth of means more loyal to how we think and perceive than any prior medium. I sincerely believe that the web's "multiple camera" view represents the greatest communication design opportunity of our time.
I've had an interesting variety of web design clients, including several schools: two art schools, one Chinese culture school, as well as a yoga studio. Other clients represent a disparate range of fields, from a lawyer to a party planner, to a web site for Sean Combs. Regardless of the material, I enjoy evolving along with my clients' needs as they keep step with today's highly mobile culture.
Print: Illustrations, Album Covers, Posters, etc.
Illustration and Graphic Design go hand in hand for me. Image and text together create chemical reactions beyond the range of either ingredient alone.
Recently I've been working on an illustrated book called "Giraferous," in it essentially human scenes are performed by a world of rhinoceroses and giraffes. Spreads will include a slice of life image (transformed by the non-human population) alongside text fragments relating only tangentially to the image.
Series create a kind of dimensionality that one-off images can't share. I have a history working for the band the Electric Rosenbergs, whose strange universe has allowed me a lot of leg room over time. The fun, somewhat creepy implications of their music directly generates the album-art; I want their covers to behave like peels for the band's forbidden fruit. (See samples in the gallery on this page).
Additionally, I've designed numerous greeting cards, promotional posters, and other products showcasing the illustration/text dynamic.
- Movies and Motion
My career has included both motion graphics and live-action video. Regarding the former, I've included a movie made for the Art Institute of NYC lobby (shown at the top of this page). The video features the school's multimedia department, and was originally designed for a large scale four-screen installation.
But I've not been limited to motion graphics. Not long ago I wrote, directed, produced and edited “Outgoing Message,” a 36 minute sci-fi live-action film. The movie was largely crewed by talented (volunteer) students, and cast primarily with varied denizens of the NYC art world (some actors, some not). Equipment was supplied by the Art Institute. Most fortunately the project was graced with sound designed and composed by Ross Williams, a rather experienced musician who fell in love with the script.
Outgoing Message is listed on the IMDB and I was invited to distribute it via Amazon.com.
- Drawing and Painting
Both drawing and painting are essential; primary elements in my periodic table. I draw to plan, but just as often just to see what happens. As a designer, I see drawing as fundamental to exploring goals and solutions; but as an artist "in general," I use drawing to invite strange fusions, unlikely events, and unexpected magic.
To see recent experimental works on paper (admittedly, that only vaguley qualifies as drawing), please visit www.instagram.com/iraepstein.
Painting, for me, has genuinely mystical status. Its religious – a method of invoking deep places that enrich and inform me. Often discoveries made via painting find their way into my commercial work; insights get shared and methods are deepened as multiple directions cross-pollinate.
My photography is personal, a form used to examine and celebrate, and only rarely to advertise. All photos on this site are mine, except for the featured portrait on the TEACHING page taken by James McConnel.
Through photography I confirm my sense that everything – even seemingly disparate elements – shares in an ineffable cohesion. My photographs emphasize a whole, one made of the individual photo's parts, yet more importantly...a whole somehow more essential than its elements or their references. I'm not a narrative photographer, instead it's the marriage of separate things that compels me – the indivisible relationship of elements that can sometimes seem as though it was already, and always, frozen in time.
I love to write. One might expect that I'd write about art – but other than this site, I've yet to take that on. Most recently I've written (and designed) my very first novel, "The Devil's Barbecue", which I hope to publish this year. One might call it "magical realism," or "slipstream," but it certainly is an adventure story of sorts...at least for me!
I hope to pursue more writing and writing-related mixed-media projects, but non-fiction – to share my experience as a devoted explorer of life and art. In this vein I hope to see (the currently germinal) Project Flashlight, and also IraBlogs, come to light in the not too distant future.
I invite opportunities; as an artist I welcome assignments from whatever directions they come and then I dive into the dimensions that each present. In design there's
the point to communicate – the message to deliver – yet, as this is pursued, formal, conceptual and technical adventures ensue. Discoveries get made, which is the fun part. So I continue to learn about what art can do, and about how one makes it in an ever-changing world. Concept, communication, investigation, material, technique – each keep the others moving, always going forward, and then further still…