By Artists For Artists

Stefan Berg: Contemporary Simplicity in Oil Paintings

Impressionistic Nostalgia

Canadian artist Stefan Berg uses oil-based impressionism to cast light upon the beauty of the everyday. With a childhood deeply rooted in design and architecture, with parents in the interior design field, Berg developed a keen gaze for the beauty of simplicity. “I was influenced by my family’s library of art and architecture books, by the improvisation found in playing music, the way one may isolate a moment when writing poetry.” He describes the spaces he grew up in as “eccentric and beautiful”, it is clear that the visually abundant and creativity-rich upbringing has influenced his career path.

"Merz Interior" by Stefan Berg, oil on canvas

Berg paints mainly from life, depicting the exact time and space and his experience of it layering passing moments together. These nostalgic pieces are created with a limited color palette and a simple painting kit; with images and notions created from observation and from memory and preferably accompanied by daylight, simplicity seems to be at the heart of what Berg creates.

"Studio Interior" by Stefan Berg, oil on canvas

“Each work represents an actual experience and is about seeing in time as opposed to pinning down a thing seen. The layering of separate moments into a single painting ends up creating a surface which is continually in the present tense.”

"Kitchen Interior" by Stefan Berg, oil on canvas

Berg’s appreciation and kinship with time reflects in the fresh aura of his works: earthy and bright color mingle with airy shape and space to create an endearing contemporary impressionism, that focuses on the strikingly accessible beauty, the art that can be seen in a simple chair or flower, the nostalgic appeal of a homely and simple scene that calls upon the viewer to appreciate the beautiful and overlooked.

"Stairs" by Stefan Berg, oil on canvas

“I believe there is no greater contemporary act than to look at what is around you and to do something with it. Painting from life provides an immediate observation of society.”

"Bloor Street West" by Stefan Berg, oil on canvas

Stefan Berg seems intent on providing viewers with a portal to the world of sight with the gift of introspection and gratitude. The artist takes what is already there and creates something new, without artificial worth, calling attention to the value it already holds at its very foundation, highlighting the simple and undeniable weight of its relevance.

All images copyright of Stefan Berg

You can view more work by Stefan on his Instagram and website.

Article written by Kate Smith

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