One reason why I want to do paintings with stories is not so much that I am a frustrated film maker, but I just feel there isn't enough drama going on in the single figure pieces.
An artist's artist, Rachel Berman knows no limitations. As a self-professed flâneur, she observes all, rendering the quieter, in between moments of life. After the success of her recent years in Toronto, Berman set out at the end of last year on yet another new adventure. Two moves and two studios later, she arrived at her ultimate destination -- her easel.
Resolutely courageous, Berman inspires artists, art lovers and gallery visitors on a daily basis. Anyone that meets Rachel Berman, or even those that just 'meet' her through her work, remember her -- and they remember her for who she is and why she does what she does. In the words of Brian Grison: 'It is pleasant to write about a real painter, someone who knows that art is not entertainment or decoration, whose art comes out of her old soul, who doesn't care if we understand, who yet offers up her skill and knowledge as a sacrifice for our greater wisdom."
Artist, poet and humanist, Rachel Berman is foremost an observer of life. Berman’s search to observe and paint others is in fact, an exercise in introspection. As Berman explains, “the paintings are autobiographical...they are about me, trying to find out who I am.” Her works are melancholic with an anecdotal wit, while giving an empathetic voice to society’s marginalized.
Rachel Berman began exhibiting in 1971, without any formal training in the arts. Her work reflects her travels to Morocco, Paris, London, Ireland, New York and the people she met along the way. Using house painting brushes that she trims down to size, she paints long, pronounced brushstrokes and has an affinity for earth tones. When she completes a painting she then coats the canvas with beeswax and polishes it to a glossy finish. Her attention to interiors and receding spaces combine with figures of Mannerist proportion to create compositions that leave the viewerwith a sense of existential angst. One can see the influences of German Expressionism and artists such as Egon Schiele, Kathe Kolowitz and Francis Bacon.