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Reviews

Brain Candy

14 Jul — 1 Sep 2018 at the Lois Lambert Gallery in Santa Monica, United States

15 AUGUST 2018

Lois Lambert gallery presents in the Project Room “Brain Candy,” a series of never before seen drawings and collages by Simon Berson. These phantasmagorical collages combine trade-magazine cut outs of machinery with the artist’s own drawings. “Brain Candy” is filled with barren lands inhabited by colorful amorphous and robotic beings. Axles, gears, sockets, drill bits, and light bulbs meet bulbous shapes.

Berson calls this work Industrial Surrealism. This is the world found inside the mind of Simon Berson.

Berson begins with his sketchbook. He draws soft and swooping organic forms colored in with looping strokes of colored pencil. Once finished, he selects drawings to cut out. Berson supported his family by working as a technical writer and illustrator. He still finds himself fascinated by images of technology, and subscribes to a variety of trade magazines. These offer him the mechanical imagery that Berson cuts out to combine with his drawings, and acheive an unexpected effect. The cold metal and plastic in the photographs make a playful juxtaposition against the soft colors and waxy texture of his colored pencils. Berson allows the pieces to grow organically, improvising with different combinations of cutouts until satisfied with the results. At times, these collaged images combine seamlessly. It’s not until one notices the change in texture or range of color that one can detect where Berson’s drawings end and the magazine pictures begin. In other instances, various technological cutouts seem to form a convincing apparatus, but are interrupted by his billowing drawings. Berson’s chief objective is to “make the mind wonder and wander.” Serendipity is one of his favorite tools.

Berson was an avid science fiction fan as a child. These collages are not unlike science fiction: they use technology that exists to inspire the unearthly. This is a theme that is a constant in Berson’s life. He has taken the trappings of his professional life and turned them into truly unique works of art. This series is proof that inspiration can be found in the most unlikely places. What might seem stifling to some is deliverance to Berson: “The work is about the unfettered freedom to explore.”

Simon Berson studied at the Pratt Institute and received his BA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He has been in numerous exhibitions since the 1970’s in New York, New Jersey, and Chicago.

 

 

As seen in: Art and Cake

 

 

15 AUGUST 2018

To change the mood one more time, the exhibition moves to a small room presenting new drawing and collages by Simon Berson in a show titled “Brain Candy.” Berson, who calls his style Industrial Surrealism, is assembling paper collages to explore the contents of “the inner landscapes.” Berson is a trained sculptor and has created a large number of intricately woven metal pieces out of recycled materials, including bed springs and fence wire. He also has done technical writing, illustration and photography.

Knowing his background, his colorful assemblages make perfect sense. He is sculpting surreal forms using images of machinery (glass, metal, and plastic parts taken from technical magazines) and weaving them with his own colored-pencil drawings of somethings more warm and organic. Contrasting these elements on so many levels – color, texture, form, origin, nature – the artist creates an improvised environment to contemplate the foods that feed the brain. According to the artist, “Unlike the highly controlled wire sculpture, [the paintings and drawings] are improvisations that are meant to coax out some underlying reality.”

Overall, the exhibition leaves a feeling of intellectual and visual satisfaction. It is also entertaining, especially considering such a splendid variety of topics addressed by the three artists and the ways they chose to communicate them. Humor, visual dynamism, and many references to film, art history and technology will connect with many in the audience.

As seen in:

The Wall Street Journal International Magazine - 15 AUGUST 2018

14 Jul — 1 Sep 2018 at the Lois Lambert Gallery in Santa Monica, United States


 

Lois Lambert gallery presents in the Project Room “Brain Candy,” a series of never before seen drawings and collages by Simon Berson. These phantasmagorical collages combine trade-magazine cut outs of machinery with the artist’s own drawings. “Brain Candy” is filled with barren lands inhabited by colorful amorphous and robotic beings. Axles, gears, sockets, drill bits, and light bulbs meet bulbous shapes. Berson calls this work Industrial Surrealism. This is the world found inside the mind of Simon Berson.


 

Berson begins with his sketchbook. He draws soft and swooping organic forms colored in with looping strokes of colored pencil. Once finished, he selects drawings to cut out. Berson supported his family by working as a technical writer and illustrator. He still finds himself fascinated by images of technology, and subscribes to a variety of trade magazines. These offer him the mechanical imagery that Berson cuts out to combine with his drawings, and acheive an unexpected effect. The cold metal and plastic in the photographs make a playful juxtaposition against the soft colors and waxy texture of his colored pencils. Berson allows the pieces to grow organically, improvising with different combinations of cutouts until satisfied with the results. At times, these collaged images combine seamlessly. It’s not until one notices the change in texture or range of color that one can detect where Berson’s drawings end and the magazine pictures begin. In other instances, various technological cutouts seem to form a convincing apparatus, but are interrupted by his billowing drawings. Berson’s chief objective is to “make the mind wonder and wander.” Serendipity is one of his favorite tools.

Berson was an avid science fiction fan as a child. These collages are not unlike science fiction: they use technology that exists to inspire the unearthly. This is a theme that is a constant in Berson’s life. He has taken the trappings of his professional life and turned them into truly unique works of art. This series is proof that inspiration can be found in the most unlikely places. What might seem stifling to some is deliverance to Berson: “The work is about the unfettered freedom to explore.”

Simon Berson studied at the Pratt Institute and received his BA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He has been in numerous exhibitions since the 1970’s in New York, New Jersey, and Chicago