Berti’s recent work consists of human and animal figures carved from found wooden objects and old bricks. Carving allows him to retain part of an iconic form while emphasizing the rendered image on the top portion. On a functional level, the uncarved portion serves as a pedestal to elevate the importance of the figure; on a conceptual level the uncarved portion’s nostalgic shape adds to the ethos of the figure. The figures, often in meditative, inward, and isolated poses, synthesize with the balanced form on which they stand or rest. The warm, aged surface of the wood and brick suggest time and memory.
The carved images evolve through a gradual, subtractive process. Berti allows a form to reveal itself slowly and subtly, much like an archaeologist exposes an artifact or fossil. By slowly carving and paying attention to detail, these images can present themselves in unexpected ways. Through simplification and compactness of form, intimate scale, stylization, and delicate rendering, it is Berti’s hope that his work captures a moment or imbues a sense of mystery.
Selected Public Collections
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; Brooks Museum, Millikin University, Decatur, IL; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI; Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL; Lafayette Museum of Art, Lafayette, IN; Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; Montreal Museum of Art, Montreal, Quebec; National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts; South Bend Art Museum, South Bend, IN; Southern Illinois University Museum, Carbondale, IL; Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI