Luminous Visions

Chris Berens is a Dutch painter best known for his otherworldly rendering of subjects.“I have a sort of layered vision that overlays my inner periphery to the common world. I’ll use whatever technique or material suits the job best, to reproduce what it is I see and keep pushing and poking reality until the result could subsist in either realm.

Chris Berens studied illustration at the Academy of Art & Design in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, graduating in 1999. He is known for his enigmatic and ethereal, otherworldly art.

“I had an out-of-control imagination ever since I was a kid. It was my warm and cosy place, full of magic and creatures and books. That’s the way it still is. It’s what keeps me sane. And insane. And weird. And in and out of focus. And that’s exactly the way I fancy it.”


“After his first major solo show at Jaski Gallery in 2005, Chris Berens’ fame spread quickly. The artist has exhibited all over the world, from Amsterdam to New York, from Tokyo to Los Angeles, Seattle and Singapore.”

-Robbert van Ham, Jaski Amsterdam


Creating the album cover for Blondie’s Panic of Girls and Debbie Harry’s world tour stage persona.


Master of his Magical Universe

The documentary
Chris Berens. Master of his Magical Universe
shows Chris at work in his studio in Amsterdam and in the company of his family. He is followed on a trip to Japan in preparation for an exhibition in Tokyo. The interest in the world of spirits and animated objects that characterises Japanese culture inspired his series of paintings, Nensha.

Chris Berens works feel like intimate, slightly discomforting pinhole views. Imperfectly focused, seemingly distorted by primitive lenses and damaged by the passing decades. Like the daguerreotype photographs of the 1850’s, these miniature paintings bring us a rare and fragmentary view of a time and place that we can never visit. They will not divulge the true nature of what is portrayed, but will forever bear witness to its existence.

‘I tell stories, but not in words. To put my stories into words, I’d have to sit down and watch the work in question and see the story unfold. And each time I do that, the story changes. And evolves. Painting is one of my favourite ways to explore my inner stories. But I’ll use any means necessary. I’m most comfortable using graphites, fine brushes and drawing inks, but I also regularly use water color paints, acrylics and I am, albeit slowly and on an irregular basis, teaching myself how to use oils’, Berens says. ‘For some time now I’ve added digital image making to my line of techniques, meaning 3D sculpting, digital painting and image processing, allowing me to expand my field of exploration to film- and game design.’

Short film

Studio impression

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