There is an artist who etches incredible portraits in glass. And he goes on display in Murano

Breaking glass to create surprising and hypnotic portraits: this is the technique of Swiss artist Simon Berger, which goes on display at the Murano Glass Museum from Jan. 28 to May 7.

Simon Berger is a Swiss artist famous worldwide for his striking portraits etched in glass. And now he is on display in Italy, at the Museo del Vetro in Murano, which is hosting one of his major exhibitions from January 28 to May 7: in the museum spaces at Fondamenta Marco Giustinian 8 it will in fact be possible to visit the exhibition Shattering Beauty, a solo show by Simon Berger (Herzogenbuchsee, 1976) curated by Sandrine Welte in collaboration with the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and Berengo Studio.

The exhibition is conceived as an immersive installation and presents some 20 works, all previously unseen, that explore the fragility of the human condition through theartist’s hypnotic and innovative sculptural practice. Contrary to the tradition of blown or molded glass, in fact, Simon Berger’s sculptural gesture is reminiscent of the act of carving and sculpting on the glass surface. This is an alternative approach to glass portraiture, which the artist himself calls "morphogenesis," and which succeeds in enhancing the limitless expressive possibilities of this centuries-old material that is still too little explored.

Berger’s is an artistic investigation that tests glass by pushing it to its limits, to the point of breaking: brushstrokes become hammer blows on a sheet of glass, causing splits and breaks in facial features. The application of this technique brings with it a fundamental reversal of meaning that unleashes new meanings: the shattering of glass, which might resonate as an act of destruction, a form of anti-creation, is the privileged means of releasing the purest essence of beauty from the depths of matter. In Simon Berger’s hands, the hammer is no longer a mere tool, but becomes an amplifier of effect. The light and transparency of the glass surface are transformed into an intricate network of cracks and fractures that recreate the human face. For Shattering Beauty, in addition to a selection of glass portraits (alternating with mirrors) that challenge the modes of perception, several “animated” canvases embedded in metal cubes that invite interaction with the installation will also be presented. These are works that demand close attention from the visitor. They ask to be viewed from different perspectives as they unfold their enigmatic appeal.

Simon Berger was born on April 9, 1976, in the Swiss town of Herzogenbuchsee. While training in carpentry in his youth, he developed great interest in different materials, such as wood and metal. Also active as a street artist, he discovered while working on some car wrecks that windshield metal, and later glass, are interesting materials for new artistic explorations with hammer blows. The originality of his technique was soon met with growing interest, and invitations from institutions, galleries and festivals around the world followed. Most recent projects have included the creation of portraits of Kamala Harris and Kemal Atatürk, while several glass canvases for the We are Unbreakable initiative paid tribute to the victims of the Beirut port explosion in 2020. From the two-dimensional format of his glass portraits, Simon Berger has recently moved to the three-dimensional format of sculpture, further exploring the potential of his chosen medium.

The exhibition is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information:

There is an artist who etches incredible portraits in glass. And he goes on display in Murano
There is an artist who etches incredible portraits in glass. And he goes on display in Murano

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