Simon Berger Swiss, b. 1976

Born on April 9, 1976, in Switzerland. Lives and works now in his own studio in Niederönz.
Contemporary glass artist Simon Berger's unique sculptural language explores the depth of his material through striking and cracking the glass he works on with a hammer. The pane of glass is both the supportive structure of his artwork, as well as the visualization of his artistic handwriting, playing with transparency of the material. The closer and briefer the blows, the stronger the contrasts and the shades. In his hands, the hammer is not a tool of destruction, but rather an amplifier of effects.
Simon Berger began his artistic explorations by painting portraits with spray cans before turning to other mediums. A carpenter by training, his natural attraction to wood inspired his first artistic creations within his studio. 
A lover of mechanics, he also spent plenty of time working with used car bodies to create assemblages. It was while pondering what to do with a car windshield that his idea for working with  glass was born. “Human faces have always fascinated me”, explained Simon “On safety glass, these motifs come into their own and magically attract the viewer. It is a process of discovery from abstract fogging to figurative perception.”  
His lacerated portraits, sculpted in glass, bring the gaze into the intricacies of transparent wounds that he calls “morphogenesis”. A pioneer of this technic, his broken pieces evoke his fascination for faces, especially women’s. With his work on windowpanes, the artist takes ownership of reality, and probes the expressive capabilities of inertmaterials destined for factories. His metallic paintings become canvases where perceptions confront with interpretations.
Reminiscent of sculptural techniques, a hammer is used to imprint the highlighted facial features into the sheet of glass. An initially transparent support of the image, the pane of glass, becomes partially opaque. The controlled shattering of the glass creates fractures which are subject to the material’s physical laws. However, instead of collapsing into itself, the safety glass keeps the shards in place. The incidence of light is reflected by the fragments and cracks within the glass, making the artworks surface gleam and glisten and depending on the illumination, it seems as if the portrait itself were glowing. Through destruction, Simon Berger allows beauty to emerge.

 Text by Vivienne Heinzelmann