This Artist Paints Women Supporting Women—Literally and Figuratively

This Artist Paints Women Supporting Women—Literally and Figuratively

Laura Berger's dreamy, ethereal work shows women of all colors, shapes, and sizes
Becky Lee
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No matter where you run into her work—whether it's a larger-than-life painting on the side of the Ace Hotel or an animated GIF popping up in your Instagram feed—Laura Berger's art immediately transports you to another world. A world of soft curves, clean lines, and warm colors. A world where women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and hairstyles, literally and figuratively lift each other up. This world of abstract dreamscapes and female camaraderie has been like a salve for me in recent years. Laura shared a peek into her life as a self-taught artist, and reminded me (as she always does) that we are all so many beautiful colors.

In one sentence, who are you?

I'm living in Chicago, trying to be a good person, trying to keep growing, currently working as an artist.

What do you do? How did you learn it?

I'm a visual artist. I mostly paint right now, but I do some freelance design work as well. I did some scene painting in college, but other than that I'm self-taught. I've been learning about painting through trying things and making a lot of work and also a lot of mistakes.

Laura's mural at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, CA

3 favorite possessions?

Art from my travels, a sculpture that was my dad's, and my bathtub.

What does a typical work session look like?

Honestly, most days it looks like sitting in a chair in a room by myself and painting for 12-plus hours while listening to various things—too much NPR, podcasts, music, silence. I usually take a couple of breaks. Lunch, maybe a beverage run or a walk. One yoga break around 8pm—that's become essential for me. Sometimes I draw, or I have to package things in boxes or order boxes or answer emails—stuff like that.

How do you get over creative block?

If I can, I walk away from life and travel. If I can't, a break from all creative work is a good step. Time in nature helps, or I often get new ideas that pop up during times when I'm able to turn off my thinking brain—like driving long distances, meditating, walking, taking a shower, dreaming, etc.

What was the last item on your to do list?

Answer interviews! And before that: vote. And before that: Finish design for laser cut wall hanging.

Day Becomes Night

How do you see the world in 2078?

We are all so many beautiful colors and we have free healthcare and college and the old white men running the show are gone so all of the guns are also gone, and we've collectively gotten over being addicted to the internet and our devices and working way too much, plus marijuana is legal everywhere and we're all smoking it so we're all way more laid back and calm and hugging each other a lot. We have four-day work weeks and use land-line phones and record players, but we also can fly to Japan in 2 hours. It's going to be great.

What’s your number one bucket list item?

Own a tiny beach hut somewhere warm and abroad where I can escape the winters, be in nature, and paint and volunteer and meet people.

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Becky Lee
Becky Lee is an alliteration aficionado and former Fulbright in perpetual pursuit of prosciutto. She still sends postcards and loves finding marginalia in used books.
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