I was pleased to see Mark Jenkins’ review of my “Stories” show at Homme Gallery in his recent Washington Post article.
From the Washington Post:
Remembrances are laden in Jeffrey Berg’s “Stories,” but they’re not the artist’s own. Many of the large color-pencil drawings in the D.C. artist’s Homme Gallery show were inspired by an old photo album he found in a local antique store.
Berg makes that backstory explicit with “Memory: Punky and Sissy,” which depicts the outline of a man whose body is filled with actual black-and-white snapshots. A few pictures are flipped to reveal the inscriptions on the back, which name children known as Punky and Sissy. Two other drawings reproduce text from postcards dated to the early 1940s, probably a few years before the construction of the tract-house suburbs included in many of the scenes.
Other pictures have more streamlined backdrops, or none at all. Two renderings of a shirtless man with upturned arms demonstrate Berg’s mastery of human anatomy. They’re drawn with brown and white pencil on brown cardboard, a palette that’s only slightly more limited than the artist’s usual one. Berg’s colors are mostly muted, and yet lush, which results from layering colored pencil, erasing it and layering again. The result is visually striking but also metaphorically apt. The multiple, partly obliterated levels suggest memories submerged, misplaced or entirely forgotten.