From Eliza French. Follow her on Twitter @elizaenbref; email her at eliza[AT]borderstan.com.
Inspired by the legacy of modern artists like Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, Carl Amt combines words and text to produce works that function as social commentary. Citing a range of influences from Shepard Fairey to Robert Rauschenberg, Amt also incorporates elements of the street art aesthetic in his work and experiments with textural applications, such as applying candle wax to the canvas. Amt is an art collector, as well, with a special focus on New York-based street artists.
Amt has been living and practicing art in Borderstan for more than 20 years. He works in a shared studio on 14th Street in Logan Circle and frequently visits neighborhood galleries and local museums. Throughout his career, Amt has worked in mixed-media collage. Either an image or a particular phrase for a piece strikes him, and then he finds the right text or image to complete the message and composition of the work. In his current projects, Amt is revisiting sketches and older pieces, reworking old paintings and collages, and fleshing out partial sketches into fully realized works.
Most recently, Amt is revamping his 12-year-old collaboration with local artists Susan Engle, Aster da Fonseca and Mark Palmer. The group began exhibiting together as S.C.A.M. in 2000. Amt’s cousin, Paula Amt, brought the group together 12 years ago when she introduced the four artists to each other. Rather than sharing a “common thread” or guiding principle that unites their work, Amt says, the artist group relies on its diversity to create unique exhibitions. In its latest iteration, S.C.A.M., has expanded to S.C.A.M.P., and now includes Paula Amt of gallery plan b, who has continued to be involved with the group and its works since its inception.