“My art is about making contact.” That’s what Amsterdam-based artist Barbara van den Berg says about what she does. One could argue that’s the general objective of all art, but with pop culture-heavy influences, bold buoyancy of aesthetic and a deeply contemporary delineation of the portrait, her pieces make contact that’s instant and high on impact. Maybe best of all, they’re oddly uplifting.
Van den Berg, whose little dictator series includes Baby Trump and Baby Kim images, has also reimagined 12 iconic goddesses and gods for the modern age created with a combination of previously produced photographs. The results are precocious, almost innocent interpretations (just almost), striking and dynamic. Aphrodite as a wide-eyed toddler? That’s because the artist employed her daughters as muses, borrowing details from pictures of them; the goddess’ dress is composed of images of their skin. Sagacious Athena’s hand gestures suggest the struggle of finding the balance between good and evil, while Magu, in her traditional Chinese army garb, is the powerful protector of women and Artemis, the goddess of hunting, wears a pelt of her own trapping. The ultimate message: Sweet-looking young ladies shouldn’t be underestimated.
Available at Public House of Art for $600 to $6,450.