Lichtundfire is pleased to present Troubadours of Eternity, a project and exhibition by New York-based duo StrosbergMandel, comprised of painter Serge Strosberg and assemblage artist David Mandel, both with independent long-time careers, and on view at the same time as the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in New York City on January 28, 2018.

This marks StrosbergMandel’s first in-depth solo exhibition of their joined creative process that started two years ago. Their collaboration, based upon imagery of timeless Pop Music icons such as Prince, David Bowie, Elvis, Tom Petty and Cher, but also celebrities such a Liz Taylor, painted by Strosberg and emphasized and embellished by the detail and exuberance of materials of avant-garde assemblage artist Mandel- plays with existing pop idol worship as much as with the succinct notion of the quest to hold the ones we admire and love in eternal memory.

Inspired by their personal histories, characterized by decadence and eccentricity of the NYC club era, StrosbergMandel combines visually the tradition of Flemish and German portraiture painting with fantasy jewelry and lavish fabric design.

StrosbergMandel’s iconographic imagery and unique mixed media process pointedly evoke the artistic practice of ‘Memento Mori’, a Medieval European Christian theory of reflection on mortality and the vanities of earthy life- familiar to the Flemish Van Eyck brothers or to German portraitist Holbein’s representation of beauty and wealth that hide a dark spiritual reality and fragility of life. The ebb & flow in the work, physically kinetic or implied, is symbolic of life – in the guise of Memento Mori. And, rather than imagery of bare bones and sarcophaguses linked to the afterlife, we encounter an amalgamate of oil/enamel painting with an assemblage of carefully chosen materials and multi-layered techniques- nearly over- the- top reflections of the already passed or living, garnished with Swarovski stones, crystals, feathers, metal and luxe fabrics.

The psychical connection of StrosbergMandel’s portraits, their intensity and immediacy, may also compare historically to the renowned Faiyum mummy panel portraits of the Egyptian Hellenistic period.

Troubadours of Eternity, by definition a homage to the seemingly time-less celebrities in our lives, and of our age, is also as much a tribute to the resilience of any creative individual that throws him or herself at the mercy of the mainstream stage and, regardless of its perils, survives.
With ‘Troubadour’, medieval terminology for a lyric, poet and musician known for composing and performing especially on the theme of courtly love, comes the reminder that the ones we adore have a fragile (shelf-) life of their own in the service of a greater destiny may it be to uplift our unsung heroes and, ultimately, all of human mortality.

Start Date

January 24, 2018

End Date

January 24, 2018


06:00 PM - 09:00 PM


175 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

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