a World beyond Reality
Chris Berens creates visions of his internal universe as if he sees it through an ancient handmade lens which warps and obscures his view of that curious place in unpredictable ways.
His kaleidoscopic mirror world, inhabited by an exotic menagerie of beasts, mysterious Madonnas and lost children, is richly represented with color palettes, environments and themes reminiscent of the Dutch Golden Age masters like Vermeer and Rembrandt, yet its overall effect is vaguely disturbing, in the manner of Rosamond Wolff Purcell and the Brothers Quay.
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Chris Berens works feel like intimate, slightly discomforting pinhole views. Imperfectly focused, seemingly distorted by primitive lenses and damaged by the passing decades. Like the daguerreotype photographs of the 1850’s, these miniature paintings bring us a rare and fragmentary view of a time and place that we can never visit. They will not divulge the true nature of what is portrayed, but will forever bear witness to its existence.