Are these paintings not balm for the soul? These are part of the series, Illusion of Risk, by artist Rachel Berkowitz. Rachel is an emerging artist living in Los Angeles. We recently got acquainted with Rachel and her work, which focuses on the spiritual elements behind risk-taking, fate and chance “using natural landscapes as a primary creative resource.” She is a painter, printmaker, and photographer. Rachel shares thoughts about her artwork and process below.
My artwork prior to the global pandemic was all about gambling and taking everyday risks. I realized during this contemplative time that there’s a mental gamble in every choice we make. Now, even simple tasks, such as going to the grocery store, initiate additional risk factors that were not present prior to 2020.
When I depict the spiritual elements behind risk-taking, fate, and chance, I am simultaneously conceptualizing these elements, as well as representing them in a surrealist manner. There are particular symbols that I have associated with good luck; some easily recognizable, like a four leaf clover, a diamond or the lucky number seven. Others are in the form of flowers and plants, associated with good fortune derived from ancient societies and traditional rituals.
However, I do conceive spirituality to be a feeling, rather than a particular shape or form. The abstract work I make reflects this ideology in the brush strokes, compositions and careful color choices. Visually, I have also been inspired by natural landscapes from National Parks across the U.S. To me, the most spiritual and grounding feeling one can ever sense is from being surrounded by nature. When one is alone in nature, the environment acts as a source of self-inflicted reflections and mental re-evaluations.
At the current moment, I am most focused on a photography project on portraits of Los Angeles psychics and modern mystics. I am fascinated by both the aesthetic qualities as well as the mental capacity needed for this business to operate. I find it wondrous and completely exhilarating that psychics are able to help people with everyday problems as a means of therapy and spiritual guidance/healing.”
Rachel’s book based on this photo series will be available online for pre-orders, along with an expected gallery showing of the photographs in early 2021 at Gallery 1202. Check out her other photography series here.
Thank you for sharing your work and inspiring words with us, Rachel! We look forward to seeing your book when it is released! For more info, please visit her website: Rachel Berkowitz.