Artist Statement

Breakfasting with Ghosts in Vienna
Two-sided multilayer photographic archival inkjet print.
Suspended, unframed, 30” from wall. The right half faces outward, with the left half facing an undulating reflective surface hung on the wall.
© 2020 Neil Berkowitz. All Rights Reserved.

We do not grasp a moment from that moment alone. Because personal understanding requires building connections between the new and the known we must connect with the moment and the work in our own ways, providing context from within. So my current work layers my own images to present an experience of moment, place, person, feeling or idea—alone of in combination. This digital version of multiple exposure expands aesthetic possibility in transparency, texture, and color that would be unattainable with one layer.

Equally as important, this process lets me create my work on an empty frame, opening new entry points into work with topical and aesthetic concerns, work with a visual density to give its observers many nodes from which to shape their own narratives and responses. The result is a different sort of social awareness work than the powerful reportage photography that I grew up admiring, one that does not define our worlds for us but in its own way asks us to observe and to make sense of what is around us with greater attentiveness.

But we also need to be attentive but to actively choose to look more deeply at what is before us. So I am presenting work in ways that let the observer know that there is more to see and allow a committed observer a chance to do so. Two-sided works suspended close in front of a reflective surface, of which Breakfasting with Ghosts in Vienna (above), are one of several approaches to this that I am incorporating into my work.