Whazamo! Profiles: Stefan Berg

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Stefan Berg

Open Book is celebrating the outstanding graphic novels and comics published here in Ontario and throughout the country with Whazamo! profiles, contests, videos and a series of original literary comics curated by Vepo Studios. Check out Open Book's Whazamo! page all month long to keep up to date.

In today's Whazamo! profile, painter and printmaker Stefan Berg reveals the magic that happens in a cavernous room above an auto-body shop on a desolate industrial street in Toronto's east side. His book Let That Bad Air Out: Buddy Bolden's Last Parade is published by The Porcupine's Quill.

Contest! Enter to win Let That Bad Air Out and three other fantastic graphic novels from The Porcupine's Quill and Open Book. Click here for details.

Open Book:

What is your most recent publication, and what are five words you would use to describe it?

Stefan Berg:

Let That Bad Air Out: Buddy Bolden's Last Parade. A Jazz Inspired Rhythmic Wordless Novel.

OB:

When you're working on a project, which comes first — the words or the images?

SB:

Because I am a visual artist naturally the images haunt me. The words come to me much later like a dream, scattered and in need of much repair.

OB:

What do you do to get the creative juices flowing?

SB:

My work is always inspired by and most often based on what is around me, the music I see performed, the books I read, the landscape of where I live and the people with whom I am acquainted.

OB:

What does your work space look like?

SB:

I work on an abandoned industrial dead end street of Toronto's east side above an auto-body shop in a large empty room of organized chaos.

OB:

What medium do you most often work with?

SB:

I am a painter of oils and printmaker of linocuts and etchings.

OB:

Why do you think graphic novels are finally gaining popularity?

SB:

I believe they offer an entertaining value, TV in book form, as the original wordless novels of the past were akin to the silent film.

OB:

Who is your favourite graphic novelist?

SB:

Frans Masereel

OB:

Where can we find more of your work?

SB:

On my website, stefanberg.ca, or by writing to lowerdawesstudio@gmail.com.


Stefan Berg is a painter and printmaker who was born in Toronto in 1985. He finished his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2008, winning the Eric Freefield Award, and since then has lectured at the college on occasion. In 2009 he founded the Lower Dawes Studio in Toronto. Stefan currently works with intaglio and relief printmaking mediums. He has been featured in the Toronto Star and in the Canadian small-press publications Cut And Print and Block Cutters Social Klub, published by the Free North Press. The Free North Press also published Stefan’s first independent book, After a While, a selection of block work from 2002 to 2006.

The recipient of multiple scholarships for excellence in painting, photography and printmaking, including a post-graduate entry scholarship, Stefan’s intent is to uphold the traditional methods of printmaking as a contemporary artist. Visit him at stefanberg.ca.

For more information about Let That Bad Air Out: Buddy Bolden's Last Parade please visit the Porcupine's Quill website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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