Interview with Artist Dudi Berkowitz

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Interview with Artist Dudi Berkowitz

Visual artist Dudi Berkowitz graduated from The Art Institute of Chicago, with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts. His work is developed in different media - photography, installation, archive, publications, drawings, painting and video - always linked to the investigation of historical processes and socio-political and economic consequences. Dudi Berkowitz’'s works manage to capture the public's attention and provoke reflection. As he himself says, "we live perpetually distracted." Our daily experience with technology, from over-information to obsolescence, is the raw material from which the art of it is nourished. Considered one of the greatest Chicago artists in the field of fine art – Dudi Berkowitz has exhibited both domestically and internationally.

Q: At what point did you realize that you wanted to be an artist and that in fact, you could be one?

Dudi Berkowitz: In principle, I have always liked art in general, drawing, painting, writing... I have always been very attracted to the ability to create. I don't know if I'm an artist or not, you never know, it's a path. However, what I do know is that painting makes me happy and it is definitely something that I will continue to pursue.
Q: When was the moment when you realized that what you do reaches people?
Dudi Berkowitz: In objective terms, it all comes down to sales, acquisitions, calls in which I have been selected ... that is, rather of social acceptance. On a subjective and personal level, you never know one hundred percent if you reach people, it is something that cannot be measured.

Q: How did you enter the world of art in general?

Dudi Berkowitz - It was relatively normal, I have been painting since I was little, then I started studying Fine Arts where everything came together. At first, I had certain complexes with what I was doing, but it went away. I always try to carry everything with the greatest possible coherence without falling into the aestheticization or the trivialization of what I do as an artist.

Q: You speak of "aestheticization", why is it not a quality that attracts you?

Dudi Berkowitz: It is something personal, a position, I think that a political and committed work can lose conceptual and social power when it is excessively aesthetic or spectacular. It may run the risk of being read as merely aesthetic and its concept and criticism omitted. On the other hand, these types of works are the ones that work best within art and galleries, pseudo-political pieces that do not compromise anything or anyone but that seem to be socially critical.

Q: What drives you as an artist?

Dudi Berkowitz: There is always something to look forward to, a new project, a new step to develop, a new improvement in each idea, not to fall into a continuous repetition without ceasing to be me, with my research methodologies and my ways of analyzing the construction of history and the creation of documentation methodologies. There is something essential and it is the growth and development of new tools in the construction of works. Each project is a new search, I find something that leads me to another search, and that is the thread that moves me as an artist, that idea of overcoming, of processual construction.

Q: Most of your works are defined as “complex hybridizations”. Could you explain this concept?

Dudi Berkowitz: Yes, my works are hybrids because I believe that everything in life is hybrid. Purity and essentiality are things that belong to a classical, almost ideal age, and I believe little in ideal things. The reality is always much more banal than the world of ideas. Complex hybrids means that they are not simple and direct works, but rather that they have their breaks when it comes to accessing and creating them.

Q: How did you handle the confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Has it affected your creative process?

Dudi Berkowitz: The coronavirus crisis has caught me confined with two young children at home that I had to tend to and help with their homework. My wife works as a doctor in an ICU in Chicago, so it has been a complicated process. Despite not having gone to the studio and having been standing still, the head cannot stop having ideas and, even from a small room, some have emerged that I believe will serve to make an evolution in my future work.

Q: The socio-economic repercussions of the coronavirus crisis are going to be impactful. In this sense, the culture and art sector can be one of the hardest hit. How do you see the situation: with optimism or pessimism?

Dudi Berkowitz: Unfortunately, I have the feeling that we are going to have a great crisis. Artists, actors, the world of culture in general are going to live very, very hard times. On an existential level, I see it with optimism and on an economic level with pessimism. Those of us who live exclusively from our art work are going to have it complicated, but we will have to reinvent things and find ways out. The world of galleries, for example, is stopped at the moment, and although it will have to restart, this crisis is also going to affect collectors. In any case, art will always be there because artists can always create and are always creating. Beyond physical space, things are always happening in our heads, and a sheet of paper and a pen are sometimes enough to start something. I hope that everything passes and that in a while we will see this time as something we learned from.

Q: Do you think there is a future for young people in the art world?

Dudi Berkowitz: I believe that there is a future, just as there is for doctors, for dentists and for all professions. In this day and age, it’s hard to get anywhere without using the internet. In many ways, it’s a blessing and curse. The internet can be a great place to showcase your art work and connect with other artists.

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