Born in New York City, Mandell continues to live and work there making abstract artworks with unusual methods. Transforming stories and text into abstractions as well as creating pattern based imagery, the work engages with optical esthetics and the act of perception.
Some paintings and works on paper are composed from text, transformed into patterns from the outlines of words. Any writing, stories, data or poetry can be a starting point. With digital brushes and algorithmic software, the writing is transformed. Industrial inkjet printers render the work on canvas and aluminum. Expanding the visual vocabulary of his practice, probing the edges of perception with patterned based imagery is the studio rationale. But everyone knows patterns have their own rationale.
In 2012 Mandell’s painting Tamahagane was acquired by The Museum Of Fine Arts Boston for their permanent collection. In 2014, his 11 x 26 foot mural Tatara Fire was commissioned by The Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, South Carolina. Tatara Fire refers to the symbols of transformation through fire. The source text for the mural came from historical accounts of the burning of Columbia S.C. at the end of the Civil War, as well as the forging of ancient Japanese steel in traditional clay tatara kilns. The mural contains most of the 10,000 words from the source texts used to create the painting.
In addition to his Fine Art practice, Mandell is also Project Manager for The Estate of Mark Rothko. Working there to create digital archives of Rothko’s artwork and historical records, overseeing reproductions of the Artist’s artwork as well as management of licensing. He received a BFA in Fine Art from Ithaca College and went on to study at Parsons School of Design and The School of Visual Arts in New York.