F: I see you work with ceramics and animations in addition to print-making. What do the particular nuances of these different mediums offer your overall aesthetic? How do you decide which vision would be best represented by which medium?
LB: My main medium was painting, and then I started getting images in my head of some quick little moving scenes, so I taught myself some very basic animation. Then I thought it would be fun to make some of the figures in 3D, so I started working with sculpture. They all kind of feed each other—working in each one gives me the opportunity to see things from a slightly different perspective and also to add to my understanding of my work in another medium. For example, working with ceramics helps me relate to the form and body postures of my figures in a more complete way, which I can then take back into my paintings. I get new ideas from bouncing around these different formats, and it helps keep me from getting restless or bored.
F: Who are some of your artistic influences?
LB: I love Hilma af Klimt, Carmen Herrera, Antonio Frasconi, Moholy Nagy, Yayoi Kusama, Sol LeWitt... There are obviously so many artists to love. I'm also inspired by old Nayarit and pre-Columbian sculpture, Native American ledger art, and Japanese prints.
F: The colors are perfect! Could you maybe talk about where your color palette “comes from”?
LB: That part of the process is pretty instinctual, or intuitive, for me. Sometimes I'll play around with different color combinations before I actually paint the piece, but mostly I just choose them as I work. A lot of times I'll dislike how something looks and change the color several times—so it's definitely not a fool-proof or straightforward process. It's interesting to think about how artists use color differently when working and why they make the choices they do. I'm not sure I know the answer, but it's cool!
F: Your work so expertly juggles multiple motifs, but the most immediate, to me, seems to be the human body—specifically its bareness, its curvatures and natural harmonies. How would you articulate some of your major themes or concerns as an artist?
LB: I'm interested in exploring a lot of different things in my work, but if I had to pick a few, I'd say I'm pretty focused in on self-understanding, our interconnectedness, our collective search for meaning, and our interaction and relationship with the natural world.
F: Lastly—where can people find your work next (aside from online at www.lauraberger.com)?
LB: I have a group show at Kallenbach Gallery in Amsterdam opening October, some pieces in the Stroke Art Fair in Munich represented by Andenken Gallery, and a solo show at Stephanie Chefas Projects in Portland in December.
Thank you to Laura Berger for being a part of our new issue! Be sure to check out more of her work online, and to check out her piece—and the slew of amazing poems, stories, and essays in Issue 52.