Berlino was born in Manchester in 1967. After leaving school he studied gold and silversmithing and became a prestigious goldsmith and designer. Having been inspired by visiting a relative in Florence. “I was captivated by the ateliers working in tiny workshops producing the most exquisite, precious objects.”
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This led to lifetime’s fascination with the jewellery of ancient Egypt. “Pieces like the bracelet found on the mummy of King Shoshenq II really excited and inspired me, the richness of the gold, the metaphors and the geometric patterns of the electrum (alloy of gold and silver) with the deep blue inlays of lapis, with carnelian and faience. The mystical symbolism of the cartouches have been a strong influence flowing through his creations as a jeweller.“
After pursuing a successful career of 15 years as a bespoke jeweller, Berlino’s artistic flair expanded into painting where he began experimenting with using elements he was familiar with such as gold and silver leaf. He evolved a very distinctive style, particularly with regard to large-scale abstracts. Following a critically acclaimed solo exhibition at Artzu Gallery in 2005, Berlino’s work has become highly sought after.
“At the same time both ancient and modern…layers of richly worked burnished gold and silver emerging from an opulently lacquered backcloth, combining the geometric with more free-form patterns.”
Recently he has been returning to an earlier love of making precious objects, but on a much larger scale. Typically, Berlino will fashion an idea, use his jeweller’s skills to make a maquette (model) and will scale it up to the required dimension.
Winning a prestigious international competition in 2008 for the world’s largest property developers, the Dubai-based company Emaar, resulted in Berlino producing the first major contemporary sculpture commissioned in the Gulf titled ‘La Concha’. Made of cast aluminium, it now sits proudly, some 5m tall, at the entrance of The Address Hotel near the tallest building in the world the Burj Dubai. Berlino’s sculpture is sure to become an icon for this world-class, unquestionably ground-breaking development.
Berlino’s growing reputation as a sculptor and painter continues to evolve into ever more spectacular forms. He has recently completed several commissions for Dubai International Airport.