Saturday, December 24, 2011

La Luz Del Cielo

All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.
Philip Johnson 1906 – 2005

La Luz Del Cielo

My project for my final in Beyond Color Theory at OCAC with Michelle Ross, La Luz Del Cielo was activating with color the two triangular window spaces in the hallway by the stairs in the Jean Vollum Drawing, Painting and Photography Building. I used colored acetate normally used for gift packaging and gently tacked it to the metal frame of the window sills using Scotch transparent tape. This project acknowledged the practice of early childhood art projects using colored tissue to create flowers and colored shapes that were placed in windows to be illuminated by the sun. My choice of using primary colors red, blue, yellow, and green refers to the first colors we learn in school as young children.

La Luz Del Cielo also references the gothic cathedral and its obsession with light and Gerhard Richter’s Cologne Cathedral project in Germany, where he used 72 colors and 11,500 squares of glass to replace the south window that has had clear glass since the original colored glass was destroyed during World War II.

My goal was to enliven, add energy, and give the viewer an AH-HA moment.
Mark the groundskeeper thought that students had painted the rocks by the thesis studios and then realized that it was the light shining through my colored windows that made the rocks look red. Brian Shannon’s Drawing Foundations Class was outside collecting natural material to draw and thought that someone had painted the grass red. The class experienced the surprising effect which was created by light shining through my acetate covered windows. A group of first year young women students were walking up the stairs and stopped. “Look at your faces,” one of them said. Their faces were lit up with different colors of light shining through the window. They laughed as they spun each other around in the multicolored light.
These are some of the moments of surprise and joy that I had hoped to create with my colored window installation La Luz Del Cielo.
Jason Berlin

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I stopped by the local liquor store after work on Saturday to buy a little something.
A man likes a drink at the end of the day; my day ended at ten thirty pm.
On entering the store I passed a man slumping on the sidewalk with his back pressed up against the wall of the store. In his youth he could have been in the ads for Camel cigarettes. He was now past the point of rugged masculinity and was just rugged.
Worn out. He muttered to himself and talked to people who were not visible.
As I exited the store he asked me and the blond women entering the store for spare change. I ignored his plea and got into my truck and got out a piece of DubbleBubble gum. I walked to him as he held out his hand and place the gum in his upturned palm. I walked back to my truck as he stared at the gum. “Is that it” he said, throwing the gum to the curb. “Is that all there is”? I thought, maybe that is all there is, for you sidewalk man. I drove off thinking about the Peggy Lee song “Is That All There Is” and how that small piece of gum would have made him feel just a little better as the sugar flowed through his blood system and brain.
He reminded me of my cousin Phillip who wants it all for free and then is not happy with what he gets. I drove home listening to jazz while chewing bubble gum.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Greetings from the Pump House Studio.
I hope this finds you doing well and that life is treating you kindly.
This summer I was invited to participate in an Assemblage show at Annie Meyer Artwork Gallery in Portland, OR. I have always enjoyed assemblage and collage art work
and have done both in the past. This past spring one of my classes at OCAC was with Bill Will. In his class we did a box assemblage project that really helped sharpen my skills in this area. When I am working on an assemblage art piece I am thinking of a story, a personal event, or of a person and how I can convey that to the viewer.
The things and artists that inspire me are my daily life, the Pacific Northwest, my peers, the Surrealists, Man Ray, Joseph Cornell, and Louise Nevelson, not to mention a host of others. If you are in Portland please stop by Annie Meyer Artwork Gallery and take a look at my efforts and say hi.
All the best, Jason Berlin

Annie Meyer Artwork Gallery
120 NW 9th Ave, Suite 102
Portland , OR. 97209
Aug 31- Sept 30th
Opening reception Wednesday Aug 31 5-7 and First Thursday September 1st
I also have box assemblage at
Cannibals Gallery
518 NW 21st Portland, OR 97201

Monday, June 13, 2011

I hope this blog page finds you doing well and that life is going in your favor.
As a man I have the luxury of urinating just about any where I please. No back alley, shrub, darkened corner or wall is safe when a man has the urge to relieve himself.
The earliest toilets and bathrooms date back to Roman times. Emperor Vespasian who started construction on the Colosseum also introduced the first pay to use bathrooms and urinals. Romes largest public toilet was near the Theater of Pompey and sat as many as 100. This was all connected to the main sewer in Rome the Cloaca Maxima. Romans still refer to public toilets as 'vespasiano'. The famous outdoor street urinals of Paris and Amsterdam are called vespasiennes after the Roman emperor Vespasian. These urinals were common in the 1930s with more than 1200 in use. In Paris they have been replaced by Sanisettes that are more hygienic and less odorous. Todays newest urinal is the waterless urinal first invented by Klaus Reichardt. The waterless system saves between 15,000 and 45,000 gallons of water a year. The most influential urinal in the world of modern art is Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain” (1917). His readymade signed “R Mutt”
changed the art world forever. I hope you enjoy my paintings of urinals and my rendition of a fountain.
All the best to you,
Jason Berlin

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Greetings from the snow covered pump house.
I thought it was time to update this blog since I am snowed in again and have a little bit of free time on my hands. I have been a fan of the American artist Louise Nevelson and her work.
She is well known for her monochromatic assemblages in black, white, and gold.
They are made out of wooden found objects, crates and the discarded things of the every day. "When you put together things that other people have thrown out, you’re really bringing them to life – a spiritual life that surpasses the life for which they were originally created."
These works are inspired by the work of Nevelson.
I have been working on these assemblages a long time. I am elevating throw away objects and the discarded of the every day, giving them new meaning and elevating them to a higher level than what they were intended to be used for.
“I fell in love with black; it contained all color. It wasn't a negation of color... Black is the most aristocratic color of all... You can be quiet, and it contains the whole thing”. (Louise Nevelson)
I hope you enjoy
Jason Berlin