Born in 1969 - Lebanon
Berge, of Armenian descent, has lived and established himself in Lebanon for the past 25 years. Branching from a family tree of artists, he naturally delved into several vocations ranging from hefty machinery and car repair to delicate wax dentistry prosthetics. Years later, whilst linking his chain of acquired skill sets, a beautiful marriage emerged. A marriage of delicate workmanship met his raw and industrial background to twist, bend, shape and mold rigid metals into any shape and design. The metals broke free from the shackles of their limitations to become strokes of paint following Berge's undulating brush.
Berge Panossian's strokes first traced the works of Giacometti, Evans, Lalanne, Poillerat and the Laverne brothers, producing impeccable replicas. Just as Rome replicated the perceived perfection and beauty that lay within ancient Greek art and architecture, Berge spent years being commissioned to replicate Art Deco ironwork classics, in much the same admiration and reverence. Progressively taking a bigger and bigger interest in the world of Art Deco.
His exclusive designs rode the massive wave of commissions and demands coming in through local high end architects and designers, making it all the way to the pinnacle of local written press. Word of Berge’s unique work echoed throughout, reaching the ears of the country’s elite. Politicians, government officials, and ministers alike all called upon him to fulfill their decorative whims and desires. Berge’s signature humbly rests in various homes, villas, and places locally as we’ll as disperses throughout the aristocracy of the middle eastern region.
However, a time for change dawned. The time of replicating his gurus' works came to an end to make way for his very own masterpieces. Much like the Romans, Berge replicated to a point in which his urge to create novel designs emerged from within shadows of his aspirations and ambitions.
Berge's collection represents this sudden schism and takes on a new genre of experimental texturing along rigid profiles and linear aesthetics. Breaking the once organic fluidity prominent in the Art Deco movement he went over for so many years, this first collection is Berge's first measure into the dissociation from his idols and their signature designs.
His new collection defies his prior title as "the Giacometti of the Middle East" just as it defies his comfort zone. And with this attitude, his thick heavy slabs of metals stand in confident defiance of 15 years of imitation work. Defying gravity itself, these slabs rest upon crystal panels, levitating the weighted appearance, giving the illusion of being afloat — suspended in mid air. The rough edges and acid dropped surfaces make for a sensory experience once your fingertips invite themselves to caress the collection's inviting skins and crusts.
Taking months of dedicated meticulous work finalizing each and every piece, Berge insists on working the metal himself with his own hands, and with all his heart. The strange nature of his work reflects his passion and devotion, whilst his skill set pushes the standards of the trade.
Beirut Art Fair 2015 - 17-20 SEPTEMBER 2015 - BOOTH A 19
Beirut Design Week 2015 - SV GALLERY - SAIFI VILLAGE
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