Resistance comes in many different forms. For some, it means making their voice heard or participating in a mass movement. For others, it's the subtle reminder that graceful, generous acts can be incredibly rebellious. In painter Laura Berger's world, color and form are used to remind viewers thatwe are all human and we are all connected. The characters in her work, mostly nude and female, are engaged in incredible acts of love. They play and give each other hugs, lounge on rainbows and come together to interact with their environments.
"My characters are generally based on humans exhibiting behaviors that I want to see more of in the world," Berger tells Creators. "Surrounding myself with them when I work becomes both a means of escape and a sort of exercise in manifestation for me."
Berger says that the work she is producing now—paintings made with acrylic and acrylic gouache on wood panels—explores themes of "inclusion, interconnectedness and empowerment." She focuses on ideas of family in a global community—whether that's through a collective ancestry or our shared relationships with nature and the unknown.
"I'm interested in how the idea of settling into our basic shared human experience can serve as a base to inform our personal identities, choices, and roles in life," she says.
If the drawings feel a bit like a stage, it's easily explained by Berger's background. She studied theatre performance in school and, while on stage, began designing and painting backdrops for shows. After the death of her father when Berger was in her late 20s, the artist returned to painting as catharsis and "a healing thing." She began painting and drawing more and more often, gaining more practice and skills, which eventually led to it becoming a full-time career.
"I get a lot of ideas whenever I'm doing something that doesn't involve conscious thinking, like when driving for a long time, or taking a shower, or in that space when I'm just about to fall asleep," Berger says. She also pointed to nature, her conversations, travel, dreams, spiritual philosophies, and psychology as points of inspiration.
Berger's characters are starting to make their way out into other parts of the world. She has begun lifting them off the page and exploring other mediums. Some characters now exist in terracotta ceramic form to interact with real life. Others have been brought to life via animation, inviting viewers to tap into a collective breath.