Opening in the very near future is a new gallery at The Barlow in Sebastopol. That gallery is the Lori Austin Gallery and I have the honor of being included in a select group of artists opening the gallery. READ ON
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Moving along developing your brand is convoluted. You often meet ... READ ON
Lately I have really been opening up the throttle so to speak when it comes to my painting techniques ... READ ON
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” - Oscar Wilde
This painting was inspired by Cigar Box Lid #3 by Richard Diebenkorn. What I really liked ... READ ON
Serious art has been the work of individual artists whose art has had nothing to do with style because they were not in the least connected with the style or the needs of the masses. Their work arose rather in defiance of their times. - Franz Marc
One of the things I enjoy about painting is creating and building the paint layers. As an architect, I was trained ... READ ON
The great thing about doing indoor shows is being able to present a larger body of works that is just not possible to do in the studio ... READ ON
The Power of Love
The Beatles iconic song "All You Need Is Love" is a testament to the bands ability to focus on the important issues while they and the world were going through turbulent times in the late 1960's. The song expresses a clarity of understanding and purposefulness that transcended current events and personal circumstances. Attached is my version called The Power of Love.
Also, this painting will be on exhibit at the Paul Mahder Gallery in Healdsburg, CA. as a part of the Sensations show.
Nitty Gritty Skateboard
Here is my latest skateboard called Nitty Gritty. It's meant to represent well-worn tools that have fulfilled their purposes over the years. It also portrays a grungy urbanism reminiscent of the early industrial revolution - at a time when an old walk-up on the Lower East Side of New York reflected the character and determination of the human spirit.
Here's another painting from the past. It was done in 2007 and featured my construction lines as well as the combination of shapes, colors and layering. Notably, it won an Honorable Mention Award at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art Biennial and was the first time a critic described my work and included it in his article about the show. The critic, Colin Berry of Artweek Magazine, called it "A mysterious schematic for an extraterrestrial widget".
People frequently ask me what my paintings are about. Frankly, I cannot really describe them better than what Mr. Berry did. The one thing I can offer is a perspective that I was lucky enough to receive from Robert Rauschenberg when I met him at his home/studio for the book signing for Kiki's Paris in late 1989. I asked Mr Rauschenberg how you knew you were an artist. He told me that you are an artist if you wake up every day with the drive and desire to create your art. In his opinion it was that simple ... so I think I'll leave it up to the art critics to come up with a proper description for my work and continue on doing what I do.
Recently, I have been combining a variety of colors and textures in my work to give it more visual interest and appeal to a wider audience. As a result I am starting to understand and more clearly articulate the balance between the feminine and masculine qualities that comprise my work. This painting is a great example of balance and I call it Bounce because for a small painting it has a lot of 'hop-to-it'. It has energy, power, strength and focus and those traits can apply to anyone.
2017 is starting off nicely with a few new BermanBoard Extreme Sport Board (X-Board) designs featuring some of my recent artwork. My boards can be outfitted with trucks and ridden or hung on a wall like fine art using my patented skateboard bracket I call the Deck Dock.
To the right you'll see a crazy skateboard arrangement I did for a show in Calistoga, CA. last year. People loved it and I showed both my printed and painted skateboards.
BTW - you can see one of my Deck Dock brackets on the box to to the lower right of the photo.
I've always liked showing people how my paintings have developed over the years. This one is called Blue Pipe and at the time reflected my interest in the concept of connection. My goal was to use piping as a metaphor that connected individuals with the rest of the world. The horizontal pipe in this painting was meant to link several paintings together to create a larger 'family'.
Studio Highlights 2016
2016 marked a distinct change in the way I paint. I was able to learn to control the medium much better and integrate several techniques including palette knife, roller, stencil, line work and glazing into my work.
I also started to adjust the compositions so they incorporated larger and more colorful shapes. I call these shapes my 'Engine Blocks' since they help anchor and stabilize the compositions. (See Berman Blog 16.03 also). This opened up a new world of possibilities since it gave me another item in my visual repertoire to use.
My work continues to explore the concept of abstract thought and purpose with leanings toward invention and an infinite world of possibilities. In keeping with this theme I have been working on developing and expanding my Berman Boards (board graphics meant for extreme sports) as well as a new line of Mini-Me's that I am tentatively calling Berman Blocks which are small reproductions of larger works that will come out in 2017.
What is your Underpinning?
This week's quote comes from Steve Jobs who said:
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it"
I am writing about the broad topic of loving what you do but equally important is understanding what comprises your 'underpinning' - the values that form the core of who you are and what you are all about. Implied in the quote is a constant testing which will be a consistent theme throughout your life.
This topic was actually inspired by an older building contractor who has worked in the trades for years and is very knowledgeable about his craft. Recently, he's come upon difficult times which has tested his entire belief system. His sole anchor in his period of turbulence was his love of what he did for a living and the stability in knowing that he had something to work toward every day. This was his 'underpinning'. This was his anchor.
As the contractor described the unusual circumstances surrounding his life I started to reflect on a scene from the movie Ben Hur - specifically at the pivotal point where Charlton Heston is about to undertake the race of his life against his nemesis Messala. If you recall the scene where Heston is talking to the four white horses, all of whom are named for the stars. One by one he respectfully addresses each horse and identifies their strongest traits and even some shortcomings. When he comes to the last and smallest of the four horses Heston says "steady Antares, you will be our anchor".
Now it's important to note that Antares, which is also a super-giant star, was the last of the four white horses that Heston addressed. He had already mentioned the other three and the consummate qualities that each possessed including speed, agility, intelligence, etc. However, what I believe the writers were getting at when they wrote the movie script was the importance of knowing what that key ingredient was that held all the other traits/horses together as a team - stability. Stability is the very core, that anchor, that veritable 'underpinning' that you will find in the building contractor as he travels through the challenges he will face and that is what Steve Jobs was alluding to in his quote. What work you love to do is in fact your underpinning, your anchor, your stabilizer. It represents everything that you are and everything you want to be. As Steve Jobs said ... "Don't Settle".
Over the past year I have been working on several fronts updating my painting techniques, building my studio store, and working on a new website. Although I have been working since 1998 on the themes that dominate my work this website represents the start of a new chapter in my development as as artist.
Galleripple is a website dedicated to Art created by Architects. There are many historical precedents of Artist/Architects including Michaelangelo, Leonardo DaVinci, and Le Corbusier, as well as contemporary Artist/Architects like Frank Gehry and Santiago Calatrava. In fact, there are many known and relatively unknown artist/architects throughout the world. Perhaps, the common theme is creativity. Or it may be the process of making a mark. However, whatever the impetus there is a great lineage of Artist/Architects who will continue to drive their mediums forward.