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Sky Walker
Almost Home
Awaiting The Process
Leeuwenhart
Microcosmos
Amsterdam artist Chris Berens is an anomaly in the art world, an
expert painter who does not use traditional media (he uses inks
on photo paper rather than oils on canvas...and NO digital or
photographic elements whatsoever), but nonetheless creates
compellingly executed, enigmatic, and emotionally resonant
paintings.

His work features a fantastical mélange of exotic creatures and
18th century imagery, floating in buttermilk colored clouds, lush
verdant countrysides, or silvery sea blues. Photo realistic,
totem-like animals and distorted childlike people float like
dreams through blurry surrealistic European city scapes or drift
on stormy seas on decrepit ships in a soft focus haze,
shimmering as if in a fevered dream. It is almost shocking to
look at, but in the gentlest of ways.
Mothers Day
Out Of The Woods
The Messenger
Beyond the wondrous imagery there is another
startling and unusual aspect to Chris' work, in
which the smooth, translucent look of the his
medium of choice (all works are created with
drawing ink, bistre, graphite, parquet lacquer,
alkyd coating varnish on inkjet photo paper that
is then mounted on wooden panels and adhered
with bookbinder's glue) is contrasted with fact
that the paintings are patch-worked together, in
pieces ranging from 1 to 3 inches across. Each
section has been been painted numerous times
and layered over each other and each segment
flows seamlessly into each other, creating a
cohesive image.
This technique creates images with such depth, that along
with his soft focus look and technical perfection make most
people assume they are seeing digital imagery or
manipulated photographs (at least when seeing it on a
printed page or on a computer screen- in person the work
has the “artist’s hand”- a sense of aliveness digital work
can not capture). However it is entirely created and
painted by hand with painstaking skill, time, and precision
from beginning to end.
The Promise
This new series of works, entitled "Leeuwenhart" ("Lion Heart") take a turn from his last body of work
which depicted icicle-like skyscrapers and NY cityscapes that sparkled like diamonds, to more of a lush,
fairytale world of forests, rolling green hills, and ancient looking villages. And while the usual assortment
of magical animal spirits show up in all the works, another character makes an appearance, Chris' new
daughter Emma Leeuwenhart Berens.
Coma Along With Me