The Hippo


Jul 16, 2019








To Tiphereth Andre Bertolino art. Courtesy photo.

“Dimensional” - Andre Bertolino exhibition 

Where: Manchester Makerspace, 36 Old Granite St., Manchester 
When: Saturday, March 2, 6 to 9 p.m. 
More info:

Different dimensions
Makerspace artist exhibits mixed media paintings

By Angie Sykeny

 Mixed media artist Andre Bertolino joined Manchester Makerspace six months ago to pursue a longtime dream of building his own sailboat. After many hours working in the space, however, he felt like something was missing. 

“The pure, unadulterated desolation of the white walls began to bother me,” he said. “I realized I had a surplus of artwork at home that I could easily transport there.” 
Now, the walls of nearly every room in the Makerspace are adorned with Bertolino’s art as he prepares for a one-day solo exhibition, “Dimensional,” to be held there on Saturday, March 2. The exhibition will feature almost his entire body of work, which includes more than 50 paintings created over many years, some as far back as 2001. There will be live musical accompaniment, and wine, fruit and cheese will be served. 
Bertolino works with a wide variety of media, including oil paint, acrylic paint and watercolor; stencils and spray paint and linocuts; asphalt and roofing tar; and, his newest endeavor, ultraviolet reactive paint. Many of his paintings are done on canvases “made out of garbage,” he said, like cereal boxes and a piece of a tree stump he found on the side of the road. 
“[The exhibit] looks like it has a number of artists; you wouldn’t think one person did all this,” he said. “I’m always experimenting with new styles. Once I master a style, I get bored of it and I move on. I’m always trying to learn new things.” 
Bertolino’s art covers all kinds of subject matter, from a tree designed with a fractal pattern to a maze inspired by a story in Greek mythology. His goal, he said, is to consistently push his own boundaries, and to “evoke bizarre feelings from my audience.” The source of his inspiration is often difficult to pinpoint. 
“I’ve found that it is possible to explore many foreign ideas through art,” he said. “I just go into a trance sometimes. I feel like it’s not really me [painting], but something else that’s working through me.” 
Most of Bertolino’s recent art is done using stencils, which he carves out of paper with a craft knife. For large canvases, he converts the stencil to a Photoshop image and has it printed out in a larger size at a copy shop. One stenciled piece in the exhibition that Bertolino is especially proud of, he said, is a UV reactive painting of a robot. 
“It looks good in the UV light and in natural light,” he said. “It’s thought-provoking and complex, and its surface is textured and has a presence to it.” 
Even across many different media and subject matters, Bertolino’s work reveals a signature artistic style, primarily through the way in which he uses color and form. 
“I think my work has polish,” he said. “The edges are sharp, the paint is very saturated, and it looks like [the work of] both someone trained as an architect and someone trained in advertising.” 
Bertolino developed an interest in art at a young age. By the second grade, he said, it was apparent that he had “a gift for imagining three-dimensional objects in space, above-average dexterity and a unique perspective that allows for objectivity.” While growing up in upstate New York, he would often take the train into Manhattan to visit art galleries and learn all he could about art. He took a few art classes in high school and college but is largely self-taught. His lack of formal training, he said, is proof that anyone can be an artist. 
“I think I inspire a lot of people to make more art,” he said. “My message is, ‘If I can do it, you can do it, and maybe I can show you how with my art.’”

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