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Samuel "Sami" Goldberg

Sam Goldberg's paintings represent the work of a man relentless driven to express himself by visually interpreting the world around him.


 
Samuel Edward Goldberg was born in East New York, Brooklyn in 1927, the son of a street vendor and a homemaker. Raised in a Jewish household, Sam was the youngest child of four.

After graduating high school, Goldberg joined the U.S. Navy, where he took up boxing. Following his discharge, Goldberg continued to box as an amateur middleweight, occasionally serving as a sparring partner for much more established athletes, including Jake LaMotta, at Gleason’s Gym in the Bronx.
 
During the early 1950s, Goldberg moved to Denver, Colorado to work with his older sister, Ruth, and her husband, Norman Haskel. Together, the three sold auto parts and Sam began to hone a natural talent for sales. He later sold shoes and eventually moved back to Brooklyn to work in the home improvement business.
 
Goldberg married Barbara Teitelbaum in 1959. She was 19 at the time and he was 30. The two settled in Queens and had two children, Daniel and Elaine. The marriage ended in divorce after nine years and Sam remained a bachelor for the remainder of his life.
 
Throughout the 1960s, Goldberg continued to work as a home improvement salesman on behalf of local general contractors. He primarily sold replacement windows, aluminum siding, and roofing to middle-class homeowners in Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau County. 
 
It was in the late 1960s that Goldberg first began to paint. Working alone late into the night, he would utilize thick oil paint drawn from tubes and spread across a taught canvas with a palette knife. The effect created textured look that paired well with his abstract designs. As he developed his style, Goldberg moved to very large formats, eventually learning to stretch and mount canvas on wooden frames as large as 8’x5’.
 
In 1979, Goldberg established Gibraltar Home Improvements. Working out of a small storefront office on Atlantic Ave. in South Richmond Hill, Brooklyn Goldberg and his son would spend weekends ringing doorbells to generate customers.
 
By 1995, Goldberg was spending less and less time working as a salesperson and more time painting. The pace of his artistic output increased dramatically, ultimately creating a collection of more than 1,000 individual works. Space to both paint and store his work in his home was at a premium, and while he frequently gave away paintings to friends and family as gifts, the bulk of the work began to accumulate in a storage unit.
 
Goldberg participated in multiple art shows in Nassau County and some of his smaller pieces were displayed in regional banks. Two of his paintings were purchased by collectors.
 
Despite never having smoked, in 2002 Goldberg was diagnosed with non-small cell carcinoma in his lungs. He died of complications from lung cancer two years later, on December 27, 2004.

He is buried at Beth David Cemetery in Elmhurst, Queens.
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