Sunday, March 11, 2012

Workshop with American artist John von Bergen - Wedding

Yesterday I participated in a day long workshop with American artist John von Bergen in his Wedding studio. John has been in Berlin for around ten years, having trained at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Organized by the Berlin Collective, the workshop revolved around mold making – a process which is core to the artists’ practice. John went through a series of techniques that he has learnt mostly through trial and error and gave us some insider tips on different materials, suppliers and manufacturers in Germany. John’s work is often site specific and his ability to integrate objects and installations into the architecture of a space is seamless, and often leaves the viewer pondering how it is created and questions the nature of the material. To gain an understanding into how he technically puts his work together was a fascinating insight into his sophisticated art making abilities. Not many artists are so generous to share their material research in such a manner, making it a real privilege to spend time with him in his studio.

For more info about John’s work check out his website as well as a great interview with BERLIN ART LINK with some great photos from his studio. There is also a really great article about a residency John did in Miami last year on Artslant where he talks about the process of getting gun parts from Miami to Berlin in the name of art which you can read here.

"The Anti-Precious Moment"
275 x 120 x 245 cm (108" x 47" x 96")
MDF, polymer-gypsum, plexiglas, flocking, wall paint
Installation at Silverstein Gallery, New York

22 x 99 x 5 cm (9" x 39" x 2")
polymer-gypsum, wall paint, US cavalry sabre
Collection of the artist

"Chronic # 4"
100 x 382 x 0.2 cm (39" x 150" x .08")
plastic, polymer-gypsum, graphite, rust paint, wall paint
Installation at Kjubh Kunstverein, Cologne

John von Bergen received his BFA Degree with Honors at The School of Visual Arts in New York. In 2003 von Bergen moved to Berlin with an invitation from the Berlin Senate for Culture, Science and Research. Since living in Germany his work has been exhibited in various international museums, galleries, and institutions including Halle 14 in Leipzig, Wilhelm-Hack Museum in Ludwigshafen, The Pera Museum in Istanbul, and Smack Mellon in New York. He has lectured at institutions such as Kunsterverein Melkasten, The School of Visual Arts (New York), and European College of Liberal Arts / ECLA (Berlin). In 2011 an extensive interview with von Bergen was published in BOMB Magazine Online.

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