Artist statement and bio followed by resume-
Historically, nearly every civilization has developed a concept of beauty in relation to the natural world, and more specifically to the human body. This concept is rooted in the assumption that there exists an objective ideal. This ideal becomes pervasive throughout the art of that culture and is believed by the mainstream to be correct. It is a beauty one should aspire to, and that reflects a spiritual, moral, and philosophical state of grace. While every society emphasizes different combinations of traits, they all share the ever-present notion that perfection along a certain schema is equivalent to beauty.
This definition is deeply flawed, not only because it is incongruous to the reality of human existence, but also because it exemplifies the most ordered and thus least interesting examples from that reality. This idealized beauty is easy to apprehend, readily accessible, and more widely embraced. Nevertheless, it lacks the depth of poetry that emerges through tragedy, suffering, corruption, and the more base aspects of human experience.
In truth, we are petty, grasping, lecherous animals motivated by the desire to feed our own egos and ensure that our bodies are comfortable while we do so. We do this in a vain and misguided attempt to buy a few hours of distraction from our impending demise. Our flesh is corrupted by disease, pollution, war, gluttony, starvation, the persistent ravages of time, and ultimately by our own deaths.
But there is still beauty here. One might even argue that it is a truer, more universal, more poetic beauty: A beauty rooted in pathos, anxiety, self-examination, fear, fascination, and pain.
Through my sculpture, I strive to break down the false god of idyllic physical beauty, and raise in its stead an understanding of what it is to be human: thoroughly debased, flawed, and impermanent, but simultaneously pitiful, intriguing, and precious. In pursuit of this goal, I produce anatomical figurative subjects that are augmented through hypothetical scenarios in order to amplify the biomechanical truth of our condition.
Thus, my work exposes the psycho/social ramifications of how we treat one another through violence, exploitation, and objectification. I employ hyperrealism to establish a sense of the uncanny. This enforces the notion that as unreal as my subject matter may appear, there is in fact an undeniable reality just beneath the surface. This reality, however grotesque, may yet harbor both beauty and illumination.
Jesse Berlin has been an avid sculptor from early childhood. He received a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he specialized in highly detailed figurative sculpture. In Chicago, Jesse found employment at the International Museum of Surgical Science as curator of the Anatomy in the Gallery exhibit: A rotating exhibit of medically themed, contemporary artwork. He is experienced in a variety of media including wood, ceramic, metals, polymer, and silicone as well as advanced fabrication, mold-making and casting techniques. Upon graduating from the Art Institute, Jesse was recruited into the Maxillofacial Prosthetic Technician training program at the Bronx Veterans Administration Medical Center in New York. There he spent two years under the tutelage of Eric Asher, MAMS, learning the art of anaplastology. He currently resides in Carbondale, Illinois where he is pursuing an MFA in sculpture.
Born: Tucson, Arizona, 1981
EXHIBITIONS (*SOLO EXHIBITIONS, **RECEIVED AWARD)
7TH ANNUAL C4 JURIED EXHIBITION**: Surplus Gallery, Carbondale, Illinois. Juried by David Freeman.
MAD WORLD NATIONAL JURIED EXHIBIT: Union Street Gallery, Chicago Heights, Illinois. Juried By Natalie Domchenko.
ART OVER EASY 8 AUCTION AND JURIED COMPETITION: Surplus Gallery, Carbondale, Illinois. Juried By Buzz Spector.
NEW WORKS BY CRITICAL FORUM: Jacoby Art Center, Alton, Illinois. Curated by Critical Forum
6TH ANNUAL C4 JURIED EXHIBITION: Surplus Gallery, Carbondale, Illinois. Juried by Ivy Cooper.
TRANSFORMATION: Surplus Gallery, Carbondale, Illinois. Curated by the School of Art and Design at SIUC.
THIRD ANNUAL NUDE JURIED EXHIBITION: Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio. Curated by Jason Franz. Juried by the Manifest Jury Committee.
ART OVER EASY 7** AUCTION AND JURIED COMPETITION: Surplus Gallery, Carbondale, Illinois. Juried By Barry Blinderman.
FUNCTION?: Surplus Gallery, Carbondale, Illinois. Curated by Critical Forum.
FIRST YEAR CHOPPING BLOCK: Surplus Gallery, Carbondale, Illinois. Curated by the School of Art and Design at SIUC.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DOUG: The Douglas School Art Place, Murphysboro, Illinois. Curated by Jason Wonnell.
NEW WORK*: The Vergette Gallery at SIUC, Carbondale, Illinois. Self-curated.
EROTIKA INVATATIONAL: La Malinche Gallery, Tucson, Arizona. Curated by Martin Quintanilla.
SALON DES REFUSE INVITATIONAL: Dinnerware Gallery, Tucson, Arizona. Curated by David Aguirre.
SUMMER INVITATIONAL: La Malinche Gallery, Tucson, Arizona. Curated by Martin
SECOND THURSDAY EVENT: Sculpture Resource Center, Tucson, Arizona.
Curated by Mathew Woodhall.
WINTER INVITATIONAL: La Malinche Gallery, Tucson, Arizona. Curated by Martin Quintanilla.
PIMA COLLEGE JURIED EXHIBITION**: Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, Tucson, Arizona. Juried by A. T. Willet, Michael Contreras, and Jude Clark.
PIMA COLLEGE JURIED EXHIBITION**: Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, Tucson, Arizona. Juried by Frances Murray, Susannah Maurer, and John Salgado.
MYTHOPOEIAN PERSPECTIVES: Two-person show, Art Culture Partnership Gallery, Tucson, Arizona. Curated by Xotchitl Gil.
2004 SENIOR EXHIBITION: Gallery 2, Chicago, Illinois. Curated by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
*Fran Watson, “Take It Off (‘Nude’ at Manifest Gallery), ÆQAI, September 2011 and Express Cincinnati, September 2011
Jason Franz, Manifest Volume 56: 3rd Annual Nude|Go Ahead...Touch Me!, Exhibition Catalog, 2011
Rhihannon Helms and Tom Speer, Ph.D., Sand Script Art and Literary Magazine,
Visual Art Portfolios, 2009.
Julie Farstad, Oral Report: The International Museum of Surgical Science, Mouth to Mouth Magazine, Curatorialal Interview, Winter, 2004.
AWARDS AND HONORS
FIRST PLACE IN GRADUATE CATEGORY:
7TH ANNUAL C4 JURIED EXHIBITION: Surplus Gallery, Carbondale, Illinois. Juried By David Freeman.
SILVER EGG IN STUDENT CATEGORY:
ART OVER EASY 7: Surplus Gallery, Carbondale, Illinois. Juried By Barry Blinderman.
BEST IN MIXED MEDIA:
Pima College Juried Exhibition; Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, Tucson, Arizona. Juried by A. T. Willet, Michael Contreras, and Jude Clark.
ARIZONA DESIGNER CRAFTSMEN AWARD FOR ART IN CRAFT MEDIA:
Pima College Juried Exhibition; Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, Tucson. Presented by the Arizona Designer Craftsmen Southern Arizona Chapter.
BEST IN SCULPTURE:
Pima College Juried Exhibition; Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, Tucson, Arizona.
Juried by Frances Murray, Susannah Maurer, and John Salgado.
School of The Art Institute of Chicago
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, Illinois.
Master of Fine Arts Degree in Sculpture in progress.
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree awarded May, 2004.
Emphasis on Sculpture.
The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Institute of Boston, Boston, Massachusetts.
Non degree seeking, fall 97-spring 98.
Emphasis on Sculpture and Photography.
Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona.
Non Degree Seeking, fall 1999-spring 2000, fall 2002, and fall 2006-fall 2009.
Emphasis on Sculpture.
Current Residence: Tucson
deviantWEAR sizing preference: medium
Print preference: ?
Favourite genre of music: see favorite musician
Favourite photographer: Joel Peter Whitkin (spelling?)
Favourite style of art: genres are so limiting
Operating System: OSX point whatever
MP3 player of choice: Ipod
Shell of choice: tortoise
Wallpaper of choice: I prefer latex paint over a skip trowelled finnish
Skin of choice: seal
Favourite cartoon character: Dr. Rockso the Rock N' Roll Clown