This is 5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in Under the Radar, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from Jan Christopher-Berkson.
What are you trying to communicate with your work?
My practice is anchored in the image-making process and invested in generating relationships with and between images. Using basic materials like canvas, wood, and paint, my work often takes on a distinct spatiality as a point of departure to bring into focus sharp-edge geometric shapes, and occasional representational images, interplayed with color.
My works of the past year or so contain the sense that they are creating another existence within their boundaries, the titles alluding to current political regret and fear. Whether a work has representational aspects or is purely abstracted, the viewer may attempt to order the imagery into a cogent scene that reflects perceptive reality, or the possibility of fantasy. In this way it is my goal to create synthetic structures to deal with my everyday sense of chaos and lack of control over real structures that exist in daily life—thus having a place to reorganize and compartmentalize feelings.
Sundial, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 54 inches
What is an artist’s responsibility?
An artist’s responsibility is to create their work from within their own experience. Whether an artwork is purely about beauty, politics, or cultural disrespect, its execution should come internally from the artist’s expressive experience.
Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art or not)?
I always think the last painting I made was the greatest thing I ever made until its been hanging around in my studio for a while, haha. So that would be this:
Year In Review, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 52 x 50 inches
Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:
I never say never… but I would like to continue with 2D work taking up a 3D space.
Who are three artists we should know but probably don’t?
—The ArtSlant Team
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(Image at top: Slow Burn, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 50 inches)