Join us for a fun night, as we celebrate the works of Clara Berta and Jung ji "Masa" Lee at Opodz. Light refreshments will be served, and you'll be able to meet the artists in person.
Clara Berta - bertaart.com
Clara is a passionate, award-winning abstract artist of Hungarian heritage. Her dynamic, highly textural abstract paintings have been exhibited in the United States and collected worldwide. Clara began her life in a culturally rich Hungarian enclave in Romania, but her world changed completely when she moved to the bustling city of Chicago at age eleven.
Another significant change happened in 1987 when she moved to California. It was while she was getting her BA in Psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles, she discovered her love of painting.
At first, art was simply a creative outlet which was set aside after she married. But in 2003 the passion came back and Clara began studying printmaking. That same year, Clara embarked on another artistic endeavor when she wrote, produced and performed her one woman show Sex is My Specialty, receiving rave reviews. However, shortly after that success, Clara lost her husband. Grieving, she returned to painting as a form of therapy. The experience was so healing and rewarding that Clara dedicated herself to art full-time.
“My approach to art is bold, deconstructed, sensual, and passionate. My technique of adding and removing texture and paint with a large palate knife allows me to create movement until I discover the painting I was meant to create.”
In 2008 she studied advanced composition and technique at the Santa Reparata School of Art in Florence, Italy. Her early works were mixed media, often incorporating mementos from her travels or found objects. After finding gallery representation in 2011, she shifted her style to larger, more abstract works with more layers, textures, and depth. As Clara became more prolific, she needed a larger space and in 2015 she opened BertaArt Studio Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles, now a popular stop on the Downtown LA Art Walk.
In 2016 she was honored with a 3rd place award at the “Made In California” exhibit at the City of Brea Municipal Gallery, where her piece Awakening was featured on the cover of the Brea catalog. Awakening was the start of Clara’s Flow series, which incorporated a new technique of pouring paint in a series of layers across the canvas and allowing it to flow, resulting in bold and intriguing shapes with a strong emotional impact.
In addition to exhibits across the US, Clara’s work has been featured in film and television including CBS’s Two Broke Girls, Bravos’ Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, Disney’s You Again, Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, ABC’s The Catch, and the indie TV film Broken Links. Her art has also been seen in LA Weekly, Singular Magazine, Culture Trip, Downtown News and other publications.
Jung ji "Masa" Lee - konodamazo.com
Kondomozo and Ubume are two characters that I invented. They serves as my surrogate self, a synthesis of Korean and Japanese cultures, a metaphor for the meeting of opposites, and the border that separates them. While one may interpret this characters as a reflection of a variety of ideas and aesthetics particular to Asian experiences and identities, Kondomozo and Ubume are primarily a response to the racism I faced as a bi-racial person. I wanted to create a creature who is culturally flexible and who personifies self-acceptance.
The universe that Kondomozo and Ubume inhabit is constructed from conscious and subconscious drawings, doodles, text and maps. The palette is inspired by cave paintings.
Kondomozo and Ubume's simple shape is repeated and juxtaposed against a chaotic, drawn environment. Kondomozo and Ubume act as a smooth-skinned, nearly-featurless guide, in a wildly unpredictable and marred universe.
I find inspiration in the work of several artists and the aesthetics of many cultural movements. These influences include: Jean-Michel Basquiat; On Kawara; Yoshitomo Nara; Inka Essenhigh; Mark Manders; Laura Owens; Suh Do-ho; Cy Twombly; Julie Mehrets; Andy Warhol; Jackson Pollock; Gustav Klimt; Noh Theater; Japanese YOUKAI story with Natsuhiko Kyougoku works; KOTODAMA; Super Flat-Takashi Murakami; Otaku culture and Mandala painting.
I believe that everyone perceives themselves—in some way—as a minority of sorts. It is my hope that Kondomozo and Ubume may act as an ambassador of “Other-ness” and that people of all backgrounds will feel at home with them, or curious about them.