Curated Artist Registry

The White Columns Curated Artist Registry is an online catalog of digital images documenting the work of artists who are not affiliated with a commercial gallery in New York City. Each submission is reviewed by our curatorial staff; in order to be considered for the registry, one must submit work digitally via this website.

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Robert Joseph Sandler
New York NY US
Updated: 2017-03-21 14:35:56


My fear, which is also a fantasy, is that my paintings are not real. As if I used to paint and then I started doing something like painting but not quite.

In an early episode of Upstairs, Downstairs, a British television show from the ‘70s chronicling the lives of servants (downstairs) and their masters (upstairs) in Edwardian England, the Bellamy family departs for the weekend, leaving the domestics to care for the mansion. Slowly, and through a series of provocations and glasses of gin, the servants occupy their masters’ clothing (top hats, ball gowns) and don their personas (proper accents, insulting remarks). At the height of the scene, as the servants delight themselves in the family living room, James, the family’s eldest son enters, having unexpectedly returned. The mask breaks, only to have its shattered veneer collected and repaired. “You rang my lady? Perhaps you’ll be requiring something more to drink?” James asks, returning dressed as the butler, Hudson, with champagne in-hand. Sarah, the under-house parlor maid, understands James’ plan, snapping “I would greatly prefer to be offered champagne before my husband” as he decants the bottle, setting the two down a path of strange erotics. As he attempts to refill her glass, she barks “I will tell you when I require more, Hudson!”.

My work is painting in virtual drag. The actor plays the butler pretending to be the master playing the butler.  The drag queen retorts, “Oh, but this is my real hair.” I call moving my finger across a responsive, glass screen, painting

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