Southwest Baptist University, BFA
Savannah College of Art & Design, MFA
Mike C. Berry is a versatile painter who works in pastels, oils and acrylics. His colorful and vibrant compositions often bending and twisting the cityscape have become his easily identifiable style. With his use of pure color and gestural brushstrokes, Wolf Kahn and other expressionists have heavily influenced his work. Further examination of Mike's biography and his sources of influences behind his oeuvre, reveal an artist who works with passion and solid technique to create a genuinely original body of work.
Mike is originally from the Midwest and studied illustration at the Savannah College of Art & Design, where he holds a Master's Degree in Fine Art. He has exhibited regionally over the past decade and is currently securing gallery representation and exhibiting nationally. Working part-time as a Gallery Manager for the UT Downtown Gallery has led Mike to explore the restlessness of city life which has developed his signature artistic theme: movement of the cityscape.
As Mike discovered, pastel lends itself to being an excellent medium for quickly expressing layers of different colors and laying down a rough composition. These smaller works are often used as studies for larger works, which are further developments of his theme of movement through the cityscape. Application of the pastel is done on a sanded archival paper that's mounted to rigid panel. The larger works, with the compositions already achieved in the studies, are translated into oils or acrylics that have been applied to a medium toned canvas very rapidly, usually completing the work "alla prima," or in one setting.
"My entire artistic style is reminiscent of my own chaotic life and that combined with my fascination of twisted perspectives and dramatic lighting, and sometimes with a sprinkling of nostalgia, lends itself to the use of vivid color and bold bravado brushwork. With each work, I attempt to present fresh perspectives with the use of energized brushwork, and to capture the essence of a particular location or emotion through the exploration of vibrant color."
The combination of elements Mike C. Berry brings to his work - artistic, personal and professional - gives credibility of an original. While each piece encompasses his "signature style," when viewed in context of the artists influences, ideas and technique, it clearly gains a degree of significance that indicates the true measure of the work.
Mike has lived in Knoxville since 1999.