Mosaics of Gold

August 28, 2012

For many, stepping outside in the morning without pinning, curling, waxing, heating, plucking, shaving, and sucking in, is more unfathomable than missing breakfast. Society’s obsession with beauty, caused by the constant barrage of images brought to us mainly by advertising, serves as the subject of Sandhi Schimmel Golds’ stunning mixed media potrait series.

Learning to mix paint before she could even write, Schimmels’ art work uniquely utilises the junk mail delivered daily to our mailboxes, which she transforms into a newly shaped image of beautifully painted mosaic portraits. From pop-art portraits of 60’s musicians, through to fashion icons and screen sirens; Schimmels’ work radiates an array of iconic people whose faces are carefully assembled using assorted cut outs from postcards, catalogues, packaging, old calendars, photographs and more. As well as using safe, non-toxic, acid-free and water based products to create her vibrant colorful work, Schimmel is able to repurpose and enliven all sorts of goods that, in her own words, ‘would otherwise go to waste’.

Schimmel explains, “I am a rabid recycler in “real life” – I can’t stand wasting anything, and as most artists do- I see almost anything as potential material for art work. I wanted to create mosaic portraits without cutting tile or stone or glass. I started upcycling old greeting cards, and making”tiles” out of interesting sections of those cards. Eureka!”


The earliest known examples of mosaics were found in the 3rd Millenium BC at a temple building in Abra, Mesopotamia. Whilst these early mosaics used materials such as shells and ivory, the concept has remained virtually intact, as can be seen in Schimmel’s more modern interpretations. Although Schimmel received her B.A in psychology and painting from Arizona State University and completed a graduate degree in Fine Art at UCLA, she considers herself as being mostly self taught. With a deep love for music, Schimmel is an artist of many talents who spent her youth sitting quietly in her bedroom drawing or skipping school to peruse New York City’s art museums and galleries. Now she is using those gifts to incorporate sustainability into her strikingly quirky creations, as is evident from the tagline on her website;

Schimmel Art; Where sophistication meets sustainability – extraordinary eco-friendly fine art.

A self-described ‘monkey mind’ that jumps around when it comes to finding a pattern of inspiration for her art work, Schimmel recently completed a portrait of Billy Holiday and is now working on a new series of pieces inspired by the Lewis Carroll books entitled, ‘True, the Looking Glass.’

The crux behind this latest series rotates around Alice, who, in the original books, is often wondering about where she is and what is real. “These portraits are about what we say about ourselves, to ourselves and how we see ourselves in the mirror,” says Schimmel. These pieces will reflect the voices in our heads – from self-doubt to out of control egos. They’re not necessarily “pretty pictures” but more statement pieces about our own reflections.

Being process driven as well as image-centric, Schimmels’ goal in creating thought provoking work is to stimulate the viewer into questioning what beauty really is in a consumption driven culture that tends to swallow and bury the virtuous nature of true beauty itself. 

By: Magnolia

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