Interview: Jonathan Berkh
Luca Curci talks with Jonathan Berkh during Venice International Art Fair 2021, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello and during BARCELONA CONTEMPORARY at Valid World Hall Gallery.
Vienna based artist, Jonathan Berkh has actively worked as a contemporary artist in the fine and applied artist since 2000. His works have been displayed at Glow Eindhoven (2009), The Belvedere, Vienna (2004) and at Capital Bank Wien (2015). His career was interrupted between 2009 and 2015 due to family matters that requested his undivided attention, but he never stopped evolving creatively. His work derives from his background as a dancer and contemporary jazz choreographer where his ideas and pieces were focused on the differences of perspectives of each “participant” – choreographer, dancer, audience – and how the choreography and surrounding external and internal structures – urban, artistic and mental – create a different experience in everyone depending on the members point of view in this flowing, constantly moving and changing complex system of bodies, spaces, structures, mind and soul. “One only can move freely when fully accepting the structures of technique, choreography, space and state of mind.” The physical movement of body in dance is a very important part that Jonathan kept from this time and that he fully incorporates in his work as an artist.
LUCA CURCI – What is art for you?
JONATHAN BERKH – For me there are so many different aspects and levels of art. Any person expressing a part of themselves through creativity or any form of art, like dance or music, enters the field of art. Of course then virtuosity, originality and artistic character distinguish the levels of art.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
JB – My way to beging a painting artist led me through various other forms of art, dancing, acting, singing, before settling down with paper, canvas, paint and brush. Visual images always have influenced me in a great way, architecture, structure, movement. All those influences I broke down into single, abstract images and objects that I am putting in and creating my very own perspectives on my art. Breaking down what I see an feel into bits and pieces to create my own reality free of all realism – that is my understanding of abstraction.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
JB – Inspiration I find within me. I collect information on the outside, but inspiration comes from within.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
JB – The still empty canvas, the still empty piece of paper, the start – the process I have to go through until I receive a satisfying outcome very much depends on the very first stroke of brush.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
JB – Maybe it is not my style that has changed. I don’t think so. What changes from time to time is the emphasis. Sometimes I focus more on colour, sometimes I focus more on the material, sometimes I focus more on words.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
JB – Oh I very much agree with your vision of art. Art is all about connecting people, about getting information out into the world. Art wants to be seen, art needs to be discussed and talked about, and art needs to be perceived emotionally. Art in my understanding always has been something fluid and liquid that has the ability to ooze into all senses and spaces. It is there whether you want it or not.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
JB – The objects and or words that appear on my art, imagine those to be structures moving in space – constantly moving and floating, like those lava-lamps – and my paintings are nothing else than windows through which we are allowed a split-second-view into that space – that space which appears to be my soul.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
JB – I very much understand where your ideas come from, we think very much alike. I also deeply appreciate the broad spectrum of art and information provided on the platform, this is absolutely unique and special.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
JB – absolutely did
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
JB – No suggestions so far, but if something comes up I will let you know