Brent Berry - Artist Info
I grew up in a home where my parents bought, restored and sold all kinds of antiques and odd old things. I started learning to appreciate antiques, art and world cultures and some history at a young age. It was also a chance to learn about care and restoration. Being around all these interesting things influenced my way of thinking and eventually my art. My mom used to work at an amazing antique store, Kohlberg's. Whenever I visited there, I was exposed to all kinds of interesting and rare things including artifacts and ancient curiosities from all over the world. It was like a museum and all these things fed my interest and curiosity about the past, art, people and history. As a child I started collecting rocks and minerals, and then later antiques and old military souvenirs. I collected for many years and have used many antiques and old things in daily life including driving 1930's and 40's cars for many years.
I worked as a sheet metal products fabricator where I learned some interesting things about metal that would later be useful in making metal art. I became more serious about my art after becoming unemployed due to a work injury. It was around that time that I started doing more watercolors and began experimenting with Repoussé (hand embossed metal). I eventually got my work into several local art galleries. I was creating and learning and it felt good. I believed that I had found my purpose in life and I was so active that I made new things almost every day, until I got sick and I was ruined for years.
During that time of my life I had lost all my inspiration and will to do art, and everything else. All I could think about was the way I felt and trying to stay alive. I did no artwork except for a few strange pencil drawings now and then. I didn't feel inspired and I couldn't get motivated. I was constantly stressed which was bad for my recovery. Doing art would be a helpful therapy and I desperately needed it but I just couldn't get started, there was no magic, no ideas, no passion to create. After about six years I was beginning to think I would never do artwork again. I didn't think I would never be myself again. I didn't feel or think that I would live much longer.
Then one night I discovered the music of Björk from Iceland. Its impossible to describe the way her strange music effected me but It was so different and inspiring, so new, unique and interesting that it demanded my attention. So soothing, shocking, unique and pleasing to listen to. It was too creative and interesting for me to ignore. This strange powerful new music immediately brightened up my dark state of mind. It reached my soul and purged the negative thoughts from me by replaced them with something that was not only more powerful but was positive as well. I was distracted from the constant darkness long enough to think about other things, positive things! It was not my like kind of music but Bjork's music was so refreshing and so overwhelming to me in such a good way, healing, nourishing, enlightening, funny, pleasing, and most of all, Inspiring! It wasn't long before I was drawing, wetting brushes and hammering on metal for the first time in years. Music is a powerful force and it can even help heal the soul and save lives!!! I'm alive, doing art again and feeling better so it's a happy ending to that chapter of my life!
My work has always been strongly influenced by the past but now I have new vision, new influences and new inspiration. I'm beginning to view so many things differently. I've grown from all this and I have new kind of passion! I'm a very lucky man but I've been broken in a way, so now I'm ready to be remade. I am starting out all over and my mind is going in different directions, I'm impulsive and I have a lot of new ideas but I'm unable to work on most of them for various reasons so I've been doing more digital art. Computers and paint brushes can't create art on their own but in the hands of humans they are tools for creating amazing things.
It's time to experiment, explore and express more. I feel like I'm just coming out of hibernation. I'll just have to see where my instincts are going to take me!
2014 - I started this site in 2004 after hearing Bjork's music. Now 10 years later I'm finally experimenting with music too. It's about time!!!
Aug. 2016 – I've learned exciting new info about dyslexia. Dyslexia is a natural gift!
Being extremely dyslexic, I naturally developed alterative skills to compensate.
I always had real diffculties with text and numbers. It was a disaster in school except for art and metal-work classes. I often felt like there was something very wrong with me because I struggled so much to do what everyone around me seemed do so easily. I couldn't understand why. I tried so hard but it was impossible for me.
No one knew what the problem was back then but now I know it was and is dyslexia. It used to be considered a learning disability but recent research has had learned some new things and dyslexia is now believed by many to be a gift. Not for reading, writing or math, but for creating, spatial reasoning and perception, the ability to see of the big picture of things, and out of the box problem solving. The dyslexic brain is wired differently than the non-dyslexic brain. Not a defect, but a variation. It is now thought that dyslexia may have particular advantages for many reasons.
These new descoveries have answered so many questions about dyslexia, my past struggles and awkwardness. I am actually proud to dyslexic! With this new understanding, so many things about my odd way of thinking makes perfect sense to me now. No wonder I have evolved in the way I have! No wonder it's been easy for me to create things but difficult to communicate effectively and sell things.
It's a shame to only learn this now that I'm older but at least I understand it better and now maybe kids with dyslexia will soon be better understood by teachers and treated more fairly by the education system. Much more to learn but now we have new ways to explore dyslexia and much more about the brain.
For me, I continue to experimenting to create new things. Lately it's strange new music. Dyslexic music! The sounds of spatial reasoning. ;-)