Philippe Bertho is classically trained having enrolled in art school in Reims, France in the early 1990s. There, he spent considerable time studying decorative trompe l’oeil painting. Tromp l’oeil (“to fool the eye”) is a technique used by artists to create the illusion of a 3rd dimension on a flat surface. It is obvious from Bertho’s artwork that he fools much more than the eye…he draws one in by the heart and also quite frequently by the funny bone. As his style developed, he drew further inspiration from the renowned contemporary trompe-l’oeil artist, Jacques Poirier. In his early work, Bertho exhibited ingenuity by including unusual materials in his paintings. Used or broken materials that would otherwise be discarded, were re-purposed and fueled a new genre of creativity for the artist. In the 1990s his works were widely exhibited in New York galleries and prominently throughout the United States, in Japan, Germany, and Australia. For the past ten years, Kostabi has been dividing his time between New York and Rome and consequently his work’s already strong presence in the Italian art scene has been greatly enhanced.
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