Click here for more information on the artwork of Berlino.
“In November 2005, The New York Times printed an article detailing how scientists extracted a gene that produced fear and anxiety within mice. They took fear out of a mouse and caused the mouse to be, well, more “daring.” Imagine a procedure that would allow you to no longer fear the unknown or memories that could bring about anxiety, simply allowing you to move through life fearlessly.
What would you do if you knew no fear? Would you take more risks, be more daring, would you be able to do all you’ve wanted because you would no longer have the natural inclination to be afraid?
Fear goes hand in hand with the old saying “ignorance is bliss.” We all naturally fear something, it keeps us from taking dangerous risks; it guides us from walking down a dark alley or keeps us from repeating the same mistakes that induce pain and sadness. In some respects, fear protects us. But then there is a brand of fear that does not work to our advantage, more specifically, the fear of failure.
At one point in our lives, we have experienced this fear, fear of being turned down by the pretty girl across the dance floor, fear to take the leap and leave a secure job to pursue a dream. Failure is a common fear among many humans, and yet there are those who seem to never fear anything—more obviously those dare devils putting their lives in danger for the adrenaline rush. But even more astounding are those of us who have no fear of pursuing dreams, going against the grain and making it happen.
There is an artist from Manchester, England, who exerts this extraordinary courage. He recaps his experience of being the first artist commissioned in Dubai for a large-scale contemporary sculpture in the country.
“I [was briefed] on the design of the [hotel]. You come up with numerous ideas, 10 or 20, sketch them or work them in clay and then [combine] them,” explains Berlino when exploring ideas for the Dubai-based company Emaar. “They said ‘yes’ right from the start,” describes Berlino during his meeting with the property developers who immediately chose his “La Concha” piece for The Address Hotel. The artwork, an impressive sculpture of a seashell made from cast aluminium and stands at 5 meters tall, provides subtle elegance and a peaceful introduction to the posh yet relaxing ambience of The Address Hotel.
In the last five years, Berlino has focused on his large-scale sculptures along side his paintings. Prior to this he worked as a jeweller for fifteen years.
He quit school at sixteen and began his full-time apprenticeship after being introduced to the profession by an uncle. Slated to go to university and study chemistry, he passed up a life-long career in the sciences as well as a full scholarship to an art school to study the trade.
And yet Berlino never being an artist as a career. “ You go into art because you love it. Hopefully as you progress, you learn what you like and then you can start to thinking about making money out of it,” says Berlino.
He became more interested in jewellery design and developed a deep appreciation for Egyptian jewellery. With the combination of rich gold mixed with geometric patterns intricately laid with stones of deep blue lapis and carnelian, Berlino remembers being entranced with its mystery and beauty. His dream to visit the origins of mystical creations became a reality when he spent two weeks in Luxor, Egypt. His goal was only to explore and immerse himself in his muse. As he toured the country and filled his senses with stimulating beauty,he explains that he tries to understand the technical side of the artwork. He likes to place himself in the same situation as the original craftsman and allow himself to ponder what the designer of that time was thinking about—the designer’s emotions, thoughts, and surrounding influences.
For more than a decade, Berlino dedicated himself to the artistry of jewelry, advancing himself to a status where celebrity clients contracted him for designs.
For many of us,when work becomes less challenging and a mastery of skill can lead to destructible comfortableness, we take the leap to another venture—for Berlino, he decided to switch focus on a form that has always been beside him during his years as a designer. “The interest in painting was always there,” he explains, “it runs parallel to be honest.” For the last five years, the gallery Artzu has been representing Berlino. He initially approached them with his paintings and later introduced his sculptural artworks. Through
Artzu, he gained international recognition for his ground-breaking piece “La Concha” in Dubai. But his three-dimensional piece only compliments what he can do on canvas. In mastering the skills of gold and stone manipulation, he has transferred his knowledge into mixed-media works where in various pieces he expresses on canvas layers of metal particles, creating complex visions of color combinations and technical mastery.
Though his work does not necessarily provide political undertones or social commentary, they do provide an incredible insight to his keen attention in detail and technique— a scientific study to the experimentation of natural sources manipulated into visionary masterpieces. Using his innate appreciation in chemistry, he continues to foster that fascination in his art today with textbook knowledge in helping explore his desired effect.
“[I enjoy] combing the materials. I know what I want is very difficult to achieve. It’s combing [elements] in a way that changes the outcome.” [I] finely grind metal articles and oxidize them in natural looking ways.” Currently he experiments with copper enjoying its natural colors but combines it with bronze using chemicals and varying degrees of heat to discover the range of form and color the collaboration produces.
With no history of formal education, Berlino has done all of his technical studies by trial and error using years of on-hand experience along with the Internet and a large library of books on techniques. His passion for art is what drives him to constantly pursue his life’s joy by the most basic indulgence: self-education.
Respect these days comes from where you spent your collegiate years or the company you’ve worked for. But you cannot dismiss the oldest form of respect, an individual’s years of experience mastering a passion by mere hard-work and undeterred focus. Where most of us find excuses to divert our attention to what we desire due to fear, Berlino charges through the human emotion with the simple act of blind drive and determination.”
Click here for more information on the artwork of Berlino.