Habitat: Jesse Greenberg

Jesse Greenberg photographed on October 6 in Brooklyn. KATHERINE MCMAHON

Jesse Greenberg photographed on October 6 in Brooklyn.


Habitat is a weekly series that visits with artists in their workspaces.

This week’s studio: Jesse Greenberg, South Slope, Brooklyn. “I’m always trying to find new ways to make mistakes,” Jesse Greenberg said in his basement studio, surrounded by a number of the psychedelically colored resin sculptures that have become his trademark as well as all sorts of scrap material. In the past two years, Greenberg has made a point of hanging onto these “mistakes” so that he can reuse them in other projects.

How do his shimmering, almost-liquid-looking works come about? “Very often I have a piece in my mind that I want to create, and through that process of trying to make it, I come up with something really different,” he said. Chance surprises can help. “In some cases,” he continued, “I make something exactly how I imagine it and it’s somewhat underwhelming.”

Greenberg counts his time as a sculpture student at RISD as a formative technical learning experience. “When I first applied to college, I assumed I’d study Industrial or Product Design,” he said. “When I got there and started to experiment, I realized that I liked sculpture more because it was even more open ended and I didn’t have to make things that had a strict function.” Greenberg’s knowledge of materials has evolved a lot since then, but he continues to try to push the limits of his chosen mediums, which frequently include urethane, resin, and silicone. He normally orders his materials straight from the supplier, or sometimes The Complete Sculptor, which he says is the only place in New York that sells every single variety of the materials he works with.

Greenberg recently had a solo show at Derek Eller Gallery in New York and is currently focusing on producing ambitious, larger-scale sculptures. Below, Greenberg takes us around his Brooklyn workspace.


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