Elizabeth Berdann


Docent Researcher: John P. Schamber 2/2010

 

ARTIST  

Elizabeth Berdann (AKA “Blu”)

                                                                                                                       

BIODATA

Date / Place of Birth: 1956           

Born in Allentown, PA

 

Current Residence:

Brooklyn, New York

 

Education:

BA, Smith Collage, (Magna Cum Laude), Northampton, MA

Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, France

Yale University, New Haven, CT

Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Parson School of Design, New York, NY

 

Major Shows/Galleries/Museums (Short list of current / important shows)

SOLO & TWO PERSON EXHIBITIONS

 2010  "Marvels, Curiosities and Conundrums: Elizabeth Berdann", The Contemporary Museum

Honolulu, HI

 2007   DDR Projects   Long Beach, CA

 1996    Cristinerose Gallery    New York, N

 1995    Montclair Art Museu  Montclair, NJ

 1994   Stephen Wirtz Gallery,   San Francisco, CA

             "Sucker!", Ruth Bloom Gallery,  Santa Monica, CA

  1993    Josh Baer Gallery, New York, NY

         

MEDIA TECHNIQUES

Traditional materials, Painter; Primarily oil on Copper, Watercolor Miniatures painted on Mammoth Ivory; “Wall installations”, tiny trinkets and frames and lockets with paintings within. Sculptural items, conte drawings on vellum. She also designs limited edition collector toys called “Munnys”. She self-describes her works in the following categories: Wall Installations, Sculptural Installations, Single Image Paintings, Small works, Drawings, Objects, Miniatures & Jewelry  There are many examples of her works in all these categories on her website (listed below.)

 

Techniques employed:

Meticulous, detailed portrait-like paintings of facial features, body parts, expressions, wrinkles, and such. She captures emotions, sentiments, feelings, and moods by focusing on minute details, and disjointed parts of faces, and bodies.  In her ‘objects’ she anthropomorphizes ‘munny’s and dunny’s’ into surreal…yet strangely real… children’s toys, giving the far-out figures, a ‘human’-like emotional quality, somewhat reminiscent of Japanese Anime.

Her installations are garish, gaudy, and fussily bejeweled frames around her very austere, traditional miniature portraits, usually installed in series.

 

CONTEXTUAL INFORMATION

Influences (historical/personal/political):

Herself.  Her awareness of self and self-image.

 

Expressive Qualities  (realistic, naturalistic, etc.)

Very Realistic, expressive, disturbing, humorous.

 

Subject Matter/ Themes/ Concept dealt with in the work:

Self-Image, Self-consciousness, notions of beauty and ugliness, change, metamorphosis.

 

Anecdotal Information, quotes.

“I am continually fascinated by the plasticity of bodies and the underlying psychological terrain. My work expands the genre of portraiture by investigating the subject's relationship to his/her appearance, by addressing self-representation, and by incorporating directly or refusing to acknowledge the notion of the portrait as a reflection of a patron's (or subject's) vanity. I find my subject matter variously in physical change (growth, aging, illness, surgery), in alteration from outside forces (water, ropes, chains, clothing), in our genetic experimentation with other species (in the case of my series of dog paintings), in gatherings of objects that reflect the inner landscape, or simply in the endless mutability of the human face. This exploration generates a rich array of nonphysical/metaphysical ideas: the dichotomy of the inner/outer experience, the redefinition of beauty, the problem of intimacy, and the marvel of the visible world.”

 

 

REFERENCES

Elizabeth Berdann’s Website: http://www.elizabethberdann.com

 

LA Times Article: http://articles.latimes.com/2006/mar/23/news/wk-gallery23

 

NY Times Article: http://www.nytimes.com/1995/07/14/arts/art-review-in-new-jersey-nature-in-abstract-and-a-prison-cell.html?pagewanted=1

 

http://ps1.org/studio-visit/artist/elizabeth-berdann

 

 

 

                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blu's Custom "Merrick" Munny

 

We have seen many customs, especially Munny customs, and thought we had seen it all. However, once in a while one comes by and bite us in our ass and this is one of those times. This Munny was customized by Elizabeth Berdann aka blu, who is known for the vivid facial details she incorporates into her designs. Masao626 commissioned blu to create a custom Munny vinyl portrait of her cat, Merrick.   Blu immortalized Merrick in a lovely flocked creation with extra attention paid to the 3d rendering of the head and face. Don't you wish you could adopt this friendly creature? Pictures: courtesy of Elizabeth Berdann.

 

 Elisabeth Berdann

Media/materials:

Traditional materials, Painter; Primarily oil on Copper, Watercolor Miniatures painted on Mammoth Ivory; “Wall installations”, tiny trinkets and frames and lockets with paintings within. Sculptural items, conte drawings on vellum. She also designs limited edition collector toys called “Munnys”. She self-describes her works in the following categories: Wall Installations, Sculptural Installations, Single Image Paintings, Small works, Drawings, Objects, Miniatures & Jewelry  There are many examples of her works in all these categories on her website (listed below.)

 

Techniques employed:

Meticulous, detailed portrait-like paintings of facial features, body parts, expressions, wrinkles, and such. She captures emotions, sentiments, feelings, and moods by focusing on minute details, and disjointed parts of faces, and bodies.  In her ‘objects’ she anthropomorphizes ‘munny’s and dunny’s’ into surreal…yet strangely real… children’s toys, giving the far-out figures, a ‘human’-like emotional quality, somewhat reminiscent of Japanese Anime.

Her installations are garish, gaudy, and fussily bejeweled frames around her very austere, traditional miniature portraits, usually installed in series.

 

CONTEXTUAL INFORMATION

Influences (historical/personal/political):

Herself.  Her awareness of self and self-image.

 

Expressive Qualities  (realistic, naturalistic, etc.)

Very Realistic, expressive, disturbing, humorous.

 

Subject Matter/ Themes/ Concept dealt with in the work:

Self-Image, Self-consciousness, notions of beauty and ugliness, change, metamorphosis.

 

Anecdotal Information, quotes.

“I am continually fascinated by the plasticity of bodies and the underlying psychological terrain. My work expands the genre of portraiture by investigating the subject's relationship to his/her appearance, by addressing self-representation, and by incorporating directly or refusing to acknowledge the notion of the portrait as a reflection of a patron's (or subject's) vanity. I find my subject matter variously in physical change (growth, aging, illness, surgery), in alteration from outside forces (water, ropes, chains, clothing), in our genetic experimentation with other species (in the case of my series of dog paintings), in gatherings of objects that reflect the inner landscape, or simply in the endless mutability of the human face. This exploration generates a rich array of nonphysical/metaphysical ideas: the dichotomy of the inner/outer experience, the redefinition of beauty, the problem of intimacy, and the marvel of the visible world.”

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