Thomas Berenz

Gallery Affiliations: Circuit 12 Contemporary, Mirus Gallery

Region: Midwest

My paintings are about my relationship to the world: they are cerebral and physical, intellectual and visceral. The disaster motif is a metaphor I use to discuss personal, sociopolitical, environmental, and ideological issues. Through the motif, I explore the existential self and examine personal narratives, some of them literal and others enigmatic. Notions of loss, place, memory, space, and time are central to my examination of personal experiences from my past and present. The imagery is in constant flux, but always returns to a pile-up. A pile-up is everything and it is nothing. It is a mound that once was and now is not; a mass of information, both physical and metaphysical, organized and chaotic. I am interested in blurring the lines between realism and abstraction, life and death, beauty and horror, devastation and the sublime. Everything we live with as Americans is delicately balanced—the cars (magic carpets/ death traps), houses (castles/prisons), and wilderness (paradise/oblivion).