Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Berley.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born in rural upstate NY, outside Albany, in 1969. There were farms and animals all around me, and my parents bred and showed champion Doberman pinschers. Dog shows were exciting, as were the nearby tumbling hillsides of pasture and majestic horses. My earliest imprints are those of animals in their utmost glory.
My parents’ divorce transplanted me to Los Angeles, where I lived for 26 years. At 11, I began English riding camp at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. I became quickly riveted to equine sports and brought home books about them en masse. And then, my father settled in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley with a horsewoman, where horses eventually became my life.
During my years at Aspen High School, my after-school/summer sports ranged from an evening with US Pony Clubs to reining discipline under Roy Yates’ mentorship, both English and Western under saddle, hunter/jumper, and crazy bareback trail rides to swimming holes with a gaggle of giggling girls.
I flung into adulthood at 21, a photographer in Hollywood and New York City, making artful, soulful, sometimes-edgy, and editorial images for clients in the motion picture, television, music, fashion, publishing, and art industries. I was extremely passionate about my work and built a client base very quickly. An overwhelming array of talent, passion, and beauty in those years has forever shaped the eyes through which I experience the world: as cinematic splendor.
For two decades, I have been fortunate to see my photography in publications and projections on both coasts and abroad and to serve as a liaison between the gritty wasteland of Ground Zero and the museums, historical institutions, and educational facilities that forever tell the story of 9.11.2001.
In my twenties, I began a career in Los Angeles, photographing young Hollywood and its glossy fashion, an environment where I developed a raw and honest style. Since then, my lens has seen much more and my insatiable, edgy curiosity has only grown.
I have never lived on the surface. I can’t function there.
My father’s passing in 2010 sent me on a soul journey across the Southwest with my camera, a chance to think on the road and rest my eyes after many tears. I went to rodeos and met cowboys, was invited to their homes and to probe into their lives just enough… the result was a re-awakening toward equine life and the powerful imagery around the environment of the of the horse.
My background is editorial imagery, visual storytelling, and art direction. And before that… horses. I feel like the luckiest person in the world that I get to be back in Colorado making powerful images that tell the story of our blessed, sacred life with horses.
Please tell us about your art.
I make powerful photographs that tell stories of amazingly beautiful people, animals, and things.
As a painter, my work is born of both childlike curiosity and sarcasm and explores the themes of rank, status, and self-definition.
In 2013, I set aside the camera for a spell and began painting and experimenting with mixed-media under the mentorship of Michael Dowling in Denver. I have found working with new tools invigorating, spontaneous, and playful, feeling it in my work and in my person.
Recent works speak of my childlike curiosity with animals and the patterns of the natural world, while exploring the themes of rank, status, and self-definition in the human world.
Many things make me laugh for no real reason other than I can’t believe this thing exists. I believe my rebellion against the un-thinking weaves a thread of tension throughout my otherwise-whimsical canvases, imagery, and self.
I currently live and work in Denver, and travel to my hometown of Los Angeles where I move between painting, photographing and working in precious metal clay, often combining disciplines. But mostly, I am focused on photographing horses and the people who bask in their power and beauty.
Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
The challenge is ongoing, so I have to remind myself always that being paid to enjoy my life is part of the compensation itself.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have two websites where my work can be seen:
People can support my work by purchasing a piece or by commissioning me for custom work in photography or fine artworks.
- Website: www.equinecontemporary.com
- Phone: 9704565185
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Lberley
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurenberleyartworks/
- Other: www.laurenberleyfineart.com