Cole Sternberg was born in 1979 in Richmond, Virginia. He lives and works in Los Angeles. The artist works in a range of formats including painting, installation, video, and writing. Series of his work have focused on a variety of social issues, from current human rights activism and its relationship to the law, to the environment, to the media and concepts of content overload. The works tend to be subtle or subversive in nature, driven by elegant visual concepts and poetry versus overt political statements. He is interested in the intersection between humanity and humankind and how their lack of congruity hinders social progression and development.
Sternberg has exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at The American University Museum (Washington, DC), El Segundo Museum of Art (El Segundo, CA), Hochhaus Hansa (a Ruhr.2010 Museum, Dortmund, Germany), Primary (Miami, FL), David B. Smith Gallery (Denver, CO), Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND, Los Angeles, CA), Paris Photo | LA (Los Angeles, CA), e105 Gal- lery (Berlin), LA><ART (Los Angeles, CA) and MAMA (Los Angeles, CA).
His works are held by major collections throughout the world and has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Whitewall Magazine, Issue Magazine, Autre Magazine, Hercules, Denver Post, Miami New Times, LA Weekly, Art Ltd., and Huffington Post.
A recent project - the nature of breathing in salt : In 2015, Sternberg travelled on a bulk shipping vessel on its maiden voyage from the shipyard where it was built in Western Japan to Portland, Oregon. In crossing the Pacific, he faced storms with 35 foot waves and 30 degree rolls and the exact opposite, glorious days of sunshine and glistening calm seas. On the journey, he created a series of paintings. Each work was exposed to the elements, left in storms, wind and rain and each was dropped into the ocean and dragged alongside the ship. The result was patterned erasure in the pieces where the environment became the true artist of the works. Sternberg also brought a crew and shot voluminous footage for a full-length documentary and many rolls of still photography.
Sternberg explained "For years I’ve been obsessed with the idea of a Pacific Ocean crossing on a shipping vessel. Experiencing the micro-environment of life on the ship and the macro-environment of being a tiny spec in the massive ocean, being disconnected from technology, and exposing artwork to the elements were all appealing factors."The paintings were first exhibited at MAMA Gallery in Los Angeles this year. A monograph chronicling the journey will be published by Hat & Beard Press in May 2017, which also coincides with the release of the documentary about the journey, entitled ‘are the green fields gone?’