Simon Berger: Touch and Break - The Art of Symbolizing Emotions
He made his mark with his portrait of Kamala Harris for the Women's History Museum in Washington, D.C. and the "We Are Unbreakable" exhibition in Beirut. His portraits on glass impact viewers with the violence and precision that emerge from the artistic process. Meeting with the Swiss artist Simon Berger, visiting Luxembourg for the Luxembourg Art Week.
Can you tell your story in a few words?
I started my career as a carpenter. However, my work never really brought me satisfaction. In parallel, I continued to develop my creativity. My main artistic activity was then focused on the creation of graffiti. However, I quickly realized that the art world was saturated with this kind of production. I then wanted to innovate, by launching myself into a domain that had never been explored before. My first portrait on glass was born in 2016. I have not practiced any other art form since.
"I seek to create a universal impact through these broken glass faces "
How does your work resonate in these troubled times?
My artwork aligns perfectly with our times. I always say that I create beauty through destruction. Through these faces of broken glass, I seek to create a universal appeal and awaken emotions that make my work meaningful. My greatest reward is to see a deep connection to my work in the eyes of a viewer or collector. I try to create this connection through my work. My experience in Beirut, with the #weareunbreakable project, represents one of the most significant moments in my life as an artist. More than just a campaign slogan, "We Are Unbreakable" expresses a constant reminder of Lebanese resilience. I carved the portraits of the victims on recycled glass sheets from the blast to express a powerful reality: the people's need for truth and justice.
Can you tell us about your portrait project of Kamala Harris?
I was contacted by the Women's History Museum in Washington via my Instagram account. Making a glass portrait of Kamala Harris symbolized how she was "breaking the codes." By being the first female Vice President in U.S. history, she broke the glass ceiling that restricted women's access to the profession. This piece took several hours to create in my studio in Switzerland. It was then shipped to the United States and displayed for three days on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.