A millennial with an old soul, the L.A.-based artist with a fondness for volcanoes – and whose works careen between the texturally abstract and representational paintings that include natural disasters – plumbs her own psychological depths only to discover what makes her love work and life.
What historical art figure would you like to have lunch with and why? John Martin, the English Romantic painter working in the early 1800’s. I love his paintings of fantastic and apocalyptic landscapes, especially The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
What did you purchase with the proceeds from your first sale? The funds went towards my trip to Greece and Egypt, which has continued to inspire my work to this day.
What words or phrases do you overuse? Intriguing, because I’m very curious about things. I also use the words amazing, magical and epic on a pretty daily basis.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would love to be completely fearless and have more physical strength so I could go on extreme adventures around the world and drive motorcycles.
What is your most treasured memory? I don’t think I could pick just one, because from my childhood in Minnesota, to my years at RISD and living in Los Angeles, there are many gems!
What TV series from your youth best describes your approach to life? The Land Before Time, which [was based on] the original 1988 movie about dinosaurs, and the idea to never give up on the journey despite obstacles.
What makes you smile? So many little things throughout the day – seeing beautiful moments in nature and hearing the perfect song at the perfect moment…I smile a lot!
What makes you cry? I don’t really cry. Honestly. I’m not a crier, but sometimes when I get to a place in the world that I always wanted to go it’s a moving experience and there are a few happy tears – most recently when I visited the big volcano in Hawaii.
What is your go-to drink when you toast to a sale? A cup of plain black coffee, because I’m a coffee girl, for sure.
After an all-nighter, what’s your breakfast of champions? Banana pancakes, preferably at one of my favorite L.A. diners – and plain black coffee.
Who inspires you? Risk-takers and creatives who stick to their unique vision and follow their own path. The Surrealists, Jay De Feo, Lee Bontecou, Lynn Foulkes, Alexander McQueen, David Bowie, The Doors, and Leonard Cohen, to name a few.
What’s your best quality? Perseverance.
What’s your biggest flaw? Being too much in my own world, but that’s where the art happens.
What is your current state of mind? I’m very focused in my studio working towards my upcoming solo exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery, which opens in April.
What do you most dislike about your appearance? I’m happy to say that there isn’t anything I dislike about my appearance now and I enjoy being a canvas for my wearable art pieces.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Never giving up on my dream to be an artist and actually doing it.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? David Bowie.
Kelly Berg’s multi-location installation piece, Pyramidion, is on view as part of Laguna Art Museum Art and Nature Celebration at various locations throughout Laguna Beach. For more information, the artist can be reached here.