From Chicago, IL onto your screen we are happy to bring you Laura Berger, whom we also had an animal related question for. (Again with the animals, MOBI!)
“It seems pleasant to be a very soft bunny. Because of the cuteness. And the softness. And I like to eat vegetables.”
To our eye it seems as though characters you paint are only women. Are we mistaking? And if not, why is that so?
“Initially, I had actually intended my figures to be kind of unisex — I wanted to take gender out of the picture so that the focus could be on this very pure spiritual or soulful kind of connection, both with each other and with the environment and our experiences. Then everyone kept referring to my people as women, so maybe they are women. That’s cool. They are fairly curvy and have a soft, kind of gentle feel about them, so I get it. I’m a woman, so I’m probably just more in touch with that body vibe. We’ll see what happens as I go along, ha!”
Your interpretation of the human body is quite unique and very interesting. Did your style come by choice or did it just evolve over time?
“Thank you! It has definitely evolved, and is of course still evolving as I learn more and continue to work — I hope it always will be. I suppose as we change and grow as people, the art that we create just kind of goes along with that process and naturally changes, too.”
Some of your pieces form geometric at times even symmetrical patterns. Just a coincidence or is there a deeper meaning to it?
“Yes, I really like to think about the cyclical nature of things, the patterns that happen in life, and the way we all are part of things in a way that is both so random and out of our control but also so beautiful and imperfectly perfect. I also enjoy the kind of calming, soothing visual impact that pattern can have — it’s meditative to look at and also to work on.”
We spotted many elements of nature in your work, i.e. the sun, the stars and plants. Do you live in close touch with nature?
“Physically, I don’t right now, no — I live in a really large city. But spiritually, I feel extremely in touch with nature. It was very formative for me when growing up, and my most connected moments in life have been when I’ve been in the wilderness. It’s a huge part of my trip planning whenever I’m traveling. But for now, we fill our apartment with plant friends. And Chicago is on a really huge lake that I hang out at and try to pretend is the ocean, so at least we have that small respite from the urban grind. Someday I’ll live in a little beach house and get to see the stars again.”
Which came first to you: painting or animation? Or do they have to same origin?
“Painting came first, and then I kept seeing my characters moving in my head, so I taught myself how to do really basic animation. The animations I’m doing are simple, but it’s satisfying for me in a different way than painting. I enjoy experimenting in different mediums like this — each one feeds the other creatively.”
Why did you decide to translate your painting on ceramic?
“It seemed fun to create something that i could hold in my hand, and it also provides another way to inform my paintings. Working in 3D has been really helpful for playing with the shape and posture of my figures, plus it’s super challenging for me and I want to always be learning new things.”
Have you got something coming up this year we should be looking out for?
“I’m in a group show at Athen B Gallery in Oakland, CA that opens June 11, and I have a solo exhibition coming up this October at Artists Republic Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA.”