with a little help from my friends
Carl Berg

June 18 - August 13, 2016

Opening Reception: Saturday June 18, 2016, 6 - 9 pm

The Torrance Art Museum is pleased to present With A Little Help from My Friends, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles- based artist and curator Carl Berg in his first museum show.

Berg has asked over one hundred artists, curators, critics, collectors, family and friends, whom he calls his “collaborators”, to name their favorite music album. From this list Berg has created over one hundred works using various imaging software programs visually abstracting lyrics and/or music that are then printed as archival inkjet prints. He describes this process as “painting with symbols”. The works are then mounted on a panel and are approximately the size of an LP album cover.

Berg does not try to directly synthesize the music into visual images but rather he reacts to the combination of the music and his “collaborator’s” personality, distilling his impression into a final visual form. He creates a wide rage of abstractions often completely obscuring the words and the music notes on which each original album is based. Some of the works appear more graphic, while other are either vibrant colors field or bear powerful expressive qualities.

This project sheds light on the diversity of his many “collaborators” and their varied taste in music mostly formed during their teens and twenties. Although there is a large range of music choices some recurring patterns have surfaced based on the collaborators age, occupations and ethnic background. Since many of them are visual artists, Berg has found it interesting to see how their choices in music reflect upon the artist’s own artist practice. He conceives the entirety of this as a “social project,” producing an exchange by taking the information from his “collaborators” and creating an artwork based on this exchange. “The exchange” is the most important aspect of this project. As part of the project Berg will give each of his “collaborators” the artwork he created for them at the end of the exhibition.

The exhibition will include two large grids of 12 x 12 inch inkjet-based works as well as several larger artworks, a wall installation and a series of video interviews with his “collaborators”.

In addition to the inkjet prints, Berg has done a series of interviews with some of his one hundred “collaborators” exploring the reasons behind their choices of albums and why they are so meaningful to them.