This is the 20th solo-exhibition of the naive painter David Berkowitz Chicago. He is going to present his new series of paintings, called “Horses Game”. This series of naive art paintings you are going to experience represents the everyday people’s lives and emotions through the horses as a symbol.
David Berkowitz is a noted naive painter from Chicago. He differs from other painters of the same style with his peculiar style of painting, characterized by elements of fairy-tale horses, pumpkins, farm, and granary.
Berkowitz has presented his paintings in some of the most noted galleries around the world. He has had over 20 solo-exhibitions. His first exhibition took place at the Art Institute of Chicago.
David Berkowitz started painting after suffering a serious injury during a football match in his early twenties, while he was tied to a hospital bed. Soon after recovery, he enrolled in the Village Art Group. Berkowitz immediately stood out from other painters in this group, because of his peculiar style.
Village Art Group was a group of young artists impressed by naive art. Being a fan of horses and life, David Berkowitz created many artworks with such themes. Some critics consider this to be the main thing that established him as a fruitful painter.
David Berkowitz’s art leaves no one indifferent.
In mid-January, in The Art Institute of Chicago, David Berkowitz will organize an exhibition "Performance for One Night" intended in an attempt to change the picture of galleries being places full of plastics and lamps, and few paintings. If he succeeds, it will be a good motive to go further.
The exhibitions mark the beginning of David Berkowitz Chicago artwork. He made more than 300 and then stopped counting them. For the first fifteen years, Berkowitz had "incredibly great luck" that he painted a lot of paintings that no one wanted to buy and wherever he found a white wall, a nail, and a little light, he made exhibitions. Sometimes in villages, sometimes in cities, smaller, bigger, abroad. For the first ten years, he held 150 solo exhibitions.
David Berkowitz Chicago is a naïve art painter, who has presented his artworks to over 300 exhibitions over the world.
He finished elementary school in Aurora. Later, Berkowitz enrolled in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
This naïve artist became aware of his passion after suffering a serious spine injury during a football match in 1969. While tied to the bed, he started painting.
That event made him realize that painting was his true profession and that he will dedicate his life to the art.
David Berkowitz Chicago became a member of the group of artists named “Village” in 1970. Immediately, this skilled painter distinguished from the other painters of the group. His peculiar style, characterized by elements of water, pumpkin, as a symbol of wealth ("when the pumpkin is big and the corn is big), farm, granary, and bareback horses make him stand out. Berkowitz’s paintings are easily recognizable.
Who is David Berkowitz Chicago? How would his friends describe him?
David Berkowitz Chicago: I’m a painter among other things and I make my living creating naïve art paintings, giving a special accent on the magical regions of childhood and the fairy-tale horses.
I hope my friends would describe me as a cheerful, creative and optimistic person. They might actually describe me as a workaholic and introverted.
How would you explain your art style to those that are unfamiliar with it?
David Berkowitz Chicago: I’m a painter, without any academic training. This means that my style is habitually described as Naive. It might sound like a slightly pejorative term. Although the establishment doesn’t really like untrained painters, personally, I rather like being naïve.
Relationship – David Berkowitz Chicago
I can notice that horses seem to be a recurring feature in your paintings. Can you tell me more about their significance in your work?
David Berkowitz Chicago: I like horses. They are enigmatic and ubiquitous. They symbolize freedom without restraint, travel, movement, and desire. Riding a horse makes people feel they could free themselves from their own bindings.
Can you talk about your creative process?
David Berkowitz Chicago: I usually start with a rough sketch that I’ve made of something that seemed interesting to me. Then, I put a wash of thinned oil paint on a canvas. In most of my paintings, I use fairly bright underpainting colors, like blue or yellow. This makes the final painting more vibrant. I paint painting wet on dry, building up layers of color. This gives clean edges.
Sometimes, this process can take weeks or months, because oils take a long time to dry. So, I have several paintings in progress at once.
What is your studio/workplace setup like?
David Berkowitz Chicago: In my atelier, I have a standing easel and a sitting easel. I like to stand back for larger-scale stuff and I prefer to sit for details. Also, a good bottle of wine could not be missing. It helps my inspiration going on.
Do you ever come across creative blocks and how you overcome them?
David Berkowitz Chicago: Yes, absolutely. Sometimes I just don’t have any ideas. Sometimes, I can easily lose sight of what I want the final picture to look like. I personally, prefer to go for a walk in nature to give my mind a rest. I just walk around without thinking of anything. This is a great unblocker for me.
Do you have a favorite quote?
David Berkowitz Chicago: The quote from General MacArthur: “Have a plan, execute it violently, do it today.”
What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
David Berkowitz Chicago: When I was 14 years old, a teacher told me that if I don’t know the answer to a question I shouldn’t attempt it. I considered this a terrible advice.
Can you tell me where your paintings can be seen?
David Berkowitz Chicago: You can see my paintings online on: Saatchi Art, my SAIC portfolio, or you can visit my next exhibition at David Berkowitz Chicago Art House.
At the end of this conversation, what advice will you give to the young painters in general?
David Berkowitz Chicago: My advice is to not listen to anyone’s advice. However, I have some words to share with all readers in general, whether painters or not. I just can tell to them to always follow their passion and to be spontaneous. You can be successful only if you love what you do and if you do it with passion.
David Berkowitz Chicago finished elementary school in Aurora, then in Chicago he enrolled School of the Art Institute of Chicago. To the father's insistence ("I do not want you to be a village manager), he enrolls in the Technical School. In the first two years he ended up in New York, and in the same year went back to Chicago to finish high school. In 1969, during a football match, David Berkowitz seriously injured his spine and for a year he was tied to the bed. In the bed, he started drawing for the first time.
He painted portraits of patients. David Berkowitz Chicago transferred his sports energy into an artistic passion. This violation was a sign that he had been in the wrong place by then. Since then, painting has become his life, and football was just a beautiful memory. He never completed the academy.
In 1970 Berkowitz became a member of the "Village" group but immediately distinguished from them by his style. In order to sharpen his style, Berkowitz visited a multitude of museums and galleries across the country.
The most common symbols on the paintings of David Berkowitz Chicago are water, pumpkin, as a symbol of wealth ("when the pumpkin is big and the corn is big), farm and granary. Bareback horses are what gives special beauty and unrestrained freedom in his paintings. He rarely has people in his art, especially women, because 'they are never satisfied.' Berkowitz always cherishes coincidence, in co-operation with happiness. He finds inspiration is his word, sound, music.
He has, over the world, over 300 exhibitions presenting with over 7,000 paintings put on display. He is a fan of scenes, a restless spirit, for whom an unduly criticism is the most arduous thing that can happen. In love with the life and the art he creates.
David Berkowitz Chicago born on January 30, 1943 is one of the leading contemporary painters in United States.
Born on January 30 1943 in Chicago David Berkowitz started with painting in 1970 when he joined the group "Village". Art created by David Berkowitz leaves no one indifferent. This world-renowned artist, a fan of horses and life, is a very fruitful painter. Around the world and in Chicago David Berkowitz had about 270 solo exhibitions where he presented himself with more than 7,000 art pieces.
David Berkowitz Chicago decided to become a painter only when he was forced to leave the professional football playing due to a serious spine injury. It was back in 1969, when he was 26 years old.
In its book of well-known and recognized citizens of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago includes David Berkowitz, for his outstanding achievements in the field of art and painting. Today he lives, works and creates in Chicago.
As a painter David Berkowitz Chicago has over 100 large solo exhibitions and about 1000 collective exhibitions in 125 countries all over the world on all continents.
Born on January 30, 1943, in Aurora, artist David Berkowitz Chicago is a clear example that the one thing our country has in abundance, is talent. David showed a deep interest in art at a very young age. But his real passion was born when he was 26 years old. At the age of 27, he won the Zanies art contest in Chicago, and since then he has exhibited his work in different places, both domestically and internationally, including the UNO Gallery in Toronto and the Aldo Castillo Gallery in Chicago.
With great kindness, the artist cleared his schedule in order to answer some of our questions regarding his work and his interests.
David Berkowitz Chicago: I come from a family of landscape artists, and from an early age the environment favored my approach to arts. It was my father, also a landscape artist, who encouraged me to continue the tradition, directing some of my first works.
What are you trying to convey through your work?
David Berkowitz Chicago: Through my works, I showcase the world as I have perceived in my childhood. From my point of view, there is always color and joy. At the moment of expressing my ideas on canvas, I transmit my own emotions and sensations. My context is formed by a balance of peace and clarity, in this way my works have the certainty of being authentic and unrepeatable. I think that my most sincere means of expression is the search and not the improvement; it is the search that leads me to deepen my passion.
Why do you paint landscapes?
David Berkowitz Chicago: Landscapes are part of my essence. I grew up in an environment filled with art landscapes made by my grandfather, and by my father. They have been an example to follow and I will continue to paint these themes, representing the art of three generations.
Describe your style in three words.
David Berkowitz Chicago: Vital, psychic and spontaneous.
Which artists do you consider your biggest influences?
David Berkowitz Chicago: At the beginning of my career, as I mentioned, my father and my grandfather. Later William Turner, Claude Monet, and Salvador Dali.
What are your views on contemporary art in our country? Do you think there is enough support from the authorities when it comes to new talents?
David Berkowitz Chicago: Technology has given art new raw materials, new ways of creating and therefore new advances. Nowadays art is closer to people since they can access exhibitions, museums, artists, and galleries through social networks. It is a great advantage.
The governmental support has improved, but it is necessary to continue working together. For governments, art should be a priority, training and supporting new talents, creating schools dedicated to art as a profession, scholarship programs, and more cultural spaces.
Tell us something about your upcoming exhibitions.
David Berkowitz Chicago: For me, it is very important to keep my current and updated work on the big stages, with the intention of projecting it and bringing it closer to the new generations. This March, we are planning to exhibit at the Courdourier Gallery and Plaza Loreto of Mexico City. Later, in September 2019, the city of Chicago will be the home of my individual exhibition, since my work has received great admiration and acceptance in this place.
With the term naive art, often insufficient and controversial, expressions due to artists have been identified that, because they are self-taught and generally come from a suburban or rural environment, reveal in their works unorthodox procedures regarding the techniques taught in art schools, or completely depart from any form of elaboration learned or received from the cult tradition.
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