The actual objects in his photos are hiding their overwhelming symbolic and emotional presence behind tones of an almost decoration. Bertin’s candy-colored, dreamy, soft-focused abstractions are the result of photographing handmade paper collages in such a way as to obliterate their surface and materiality. As Vince Aletti wrote in The Village Voice, “There’s something at once retro and futuristic about them, like they fell off the wall of some 60’s sci-fi sitcom set.”
For his exhibition at Kustera Projects, the viewer will literally enter Bertin’s work by passing through a giant photo transparency adhered directly to the gallery’s glass storefront. On the walls will be colorful photo assemblages which attempt to connect to one another but the matching of the images always seem slightly off…failed attempts.
Finally, there is one piece made up of 23 photographs that creates a spiral that could recall a line made with a can of spray paint on a wall. This is the only piece that the artist has made without a camera, because he realizes that he defines himself as being a photographer that intends to break the rules of traditional photography and ends up being a hostage of these rules.
Gaston Bertin was born in France, raised in Spain and educated in the United States. He received his BFA in Photography from the Parsons School of Design in NY, his Masters in Landscape Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design, and his Associate Degree in Industrial Design from the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan, Italy. He has exhibited his work internationally for over two decades and is represented by Galerie 1900-2000 in Paris and Aeroplastics Contemporary in Brussels, Belgium. Bertin currently lives and works in Barcelona, Spain.