Chris Berti: Birds

Nov 5th - Dec 31st, 2010


"My recent work consists of animal and metaphorical images carved from vintage ceramic brick and drainage pipe. Carving allows me to emphasize a rendered image on the top portion of the brick while allowing the untouched part below to remain as a pedestal. Discovering images inside the bricks can be challenging and exciting. The images I carve evolve through a gradual, subtractive process, allowing form to reveal itself slowly and subtly, much like an archaeologist exposes an artifact or fossil in a rock. The century-old bricks I employ often provide rich, varied colors and textures made possible as a result of their unprocessed clay and heavily-reduced kiln atmosphere. By slowly carving and paying attention to detail, these images can present themselves in unexpected ways. I sometimes leave the brick manufacturer's name on the sculpture as a curious text juxtaposed to the carved image."

"In life's experiences, I react to the spirit in ordinary objects and forms from nature. I also respond to historical works of art which possess a sense of mystery or essence of something, both tangible and intangible. Through simplification and compactness of form, intimate scale, stylization, and delicate rendering, it is my hope that that my work resonates in this way."

"I believe at times we create our own mythology. In my world, an animate or inanimate object emerging from a brick brings to life the spirit from my own stories. The objects' expressions range from humor, playfulness, cunning, vulnerability, security, tragedy, melancholy, bliss, or innocence. It is my hope that the viewer moves through the recognizable imagery to this deeper level of allegory."

Chris Berti, Artist Statement