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The Plastic Art of Berman in Mexico City: Black Hole

The simple and fantastical universe of the plastic artist Daniel Berman arrives in Mexico City. An alternate reality of simple graphics and dimensional transcendence by Carlos Ruffo September 18, 2015, 4:58 Xalapa - The most recent exhibition by the plastic artist Daniel Berman is being presented during the months of September and October at the Vértigo Gallery in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. After several joint contributions, "Black Hole" arises from the mutual interest of Jorge Alderete, the founder of the venue, and Berman himself, following the happy travels of his work to distant locations such as San Francisco, London, and Barcelona.

The native of Naranjos, Veracruz, acknowledges the "inevitable association" of the exhibition's title with black holes described by astrophysics. At the same time, he suggests that it could signify an inexhaustible source of figures and non-figures, largely adhering to the rudiments of graphics, which are inexhaustible in their simplicity, combined with the artist's personal time and experience. Although color subtly adorns the artwork, this edition is predominantly minimalist, almost ascetic, and grounded in the roots of both graphics and the author's idiosyncrasy. A few drawings or lithographs escape to a subworld of etchings and paintings: "The way they were printed makes it confusing to read how they are made; there's black on white or the other way around... there are matrices, there are no matrices... I want to work with elementary things: black and white, primary colors, and very basic techniques like monotype and woodcut," explains the creator.

Inexhaustible Plasticity There's a popular saying that goes, "He who grasps too much, holds little." Whether consciously or unconsciously, the Veracruz native knows with conviction that his path is the opposite: to squeeze creativity with an almost binary, simple, and infinite code. "I seek to synthesize language to have a stronger impact, aiming to focus less on details and make an aesthetic statement to discuss deeper matters."

Berman's mischievous, simplistic, and polytemporal world finds a mirror in the artwork, whose main principle and end is instinctive expression, almost animalistic but not dissipating: an ordered chaos that transcends its dimension. "There's the risk of dispersing your energy as an artist, so you have to reduce elements to the most basic and thus concentrate possibilities; it's about shaping a personal discourse with many facets, always in the process of formation."

The Complexity of Simplicity

In Berman's world, simplicity infused with creativity becomes tangible existence, evolving to new levels and offering a sarcastic metaphor for our digital times with analog technology and a sense of humor. "The next step would be multidisciplinary pieces, truly mixing techniques; the ultimate goal would be to create more solid installations, taking the concept into three dimensions." Humanoid animals with caricatured genetics, mutating between 1940s cartoons and indigenous creatures worthy of Francisco Toledo, dance and play in a limbo of tribal strokes in postmodern mosaics. And with that same simplicity, they begin to leap off the paper to claim a life of their own, just as the author intended: "I'm figuring out how to translate my characters to encompass space in a more complete manner. In 'Black Hole,' there's an interactive wooden sculpture; you press a button, it starts speaking, and its eyes light up... it's the type of piece I'm interested in developing. The language is the same; it's just a matter of resizing it."


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