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Artist Interview: David Berkowitz Chicago

I caught up with the Naive artist David Berkowitz Chicago to talk art, creative blocks and horses. I learned from him: Passion is the key to success.

Who is David Berkowitz Chicago? How would his friends describe him?

David Berkowitz Chicago: I’m a painter among other things and I make my living creating naïve art paintings, giving a special accent on the magical regions of childhood and the fairy-tale horses.

I hope my friends would describe me as cheerful, creative and optimistic person. They might actually describe me as a workaholic and introverted.

How would you explain your art style to those that are unfamiliar with it?

David Berkowitz Chicago: I’m a painter, without any academic training. This means that my style is habitually described as Naive. It might sound you like a slightly pejorative term.  Although the establishment doesn’t really like untrained painters, personally, I rather like being naïve.

Relationship – David Berkowitz Chicago

I can notice that horses seem to be a recurring feature in your paintings. Can you tell me more about their significance in your work?

David Berkowitz Chicago: I like horses. They are enigmatic and ubiquitous. They symbolize freedom without restraint, travel, movement, and desire. Riding a horse makes people feel they could free themselves from their own bindings.

Can you talk about your creative process?

David Berkowitz Chicago: I usually start with a rough sketch that I’ve made of something that seemed interesting to me. Then, I put a wash of thinned oil paint on a canvas. In most of my painting I use fairly bright underpainting colors, like blue or yellow. This makes the final painting more vibrant. I paint painting wet on dry, building up layers of color. This gives clean edges.

Sometimes, this process can take weeks or months, because oils take a long time to dry. So, I have several paintings in progress at once.

What is your studio/workplace setup like?

David Berkowitz Chicago: In my atelier I have a standing easel and a sitting easel. I like to stand back for larger scale stuff and I prefer to sit for details. Also, a good bottle of wide could not be missing. I helps my inspiration going on.

Do you ever come across creative blocks and how you overcome them?

David Berkowitz Chicago: Yes, absolutely. Sometimes I just don’t have any ideas. Sometimes, I can easily lose sight of what I want the final picture to look like. I personally, prefer to go for a walk in nature to give my mind a rest. I just walk around without thinking on anything. This is a great unblocker for me.

Do you have a favorite quote?

David Berkowitz Chicago: The quote from General MacArthur: “Have a plan, execute it violently, do it today.”

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

David Berkowitz Chicago: When I was 14 years old, a teacher told me that if I don’t know the answer to a question I shouldn’t attempt it. I considered this a terrible advice.

Can you tell me where your paintings can be seen?

David Berkowitz Chicago: You can see my paintings online on: Saatchi Art, my SAIC portfolio, or you can visit my next exhibition at David Berkowitz Chicago Art House.

At the end of this conversation, what advice will you give to the young painters in general?

David Berkowitz Chicago: My advice is to not listen to anyone’s advice. However, I have some words to share with all readers in general, whether painters or not. I just can tell to them to always follow their passion and to be spontaneous. You can be successful only if you love what you do and if you do it with passion.

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