About Joann Berman
GOD meets the DEVIL. FASHION, COLOR, FORM AND STRUCTURE. CLASH OF THE TITANS. WHOS STRONGER? WHOS MORE POWERFUL? WHO WINS THE PRIZE!
In the netherworld of my soul, I've always been the referee and the messenger between these two most divine forces. How do I dare go to heaven....how do I enter the depths of hell! And what fun it is to get on the cloud of color, the tactile magic carpet and enter the world of the Chosen One, the Evil one, the Celestial MAIL MAN, THE OMNIPOTENT INFINITE SPIRIT OF COLOR.
El Diablo, the scissor, the destructive parter of the Dead Sea that breaks through the periphery of Heaven. The Cloth, the Talis of the angels, the mannequin, the HOLY SEPLECURE......The machine, the instrument of the Gods or Bealzabub what ever the moment dictates, and the body of Christ.... the dress or the chair. The Resurrection of jesus into Heaven.
This is how Ive lived since the age of 7, an undercover religious Zealot. Born into the jewish faith I secretly received communion at the age of 12, hiding my medal of Mary the divine mother under my Fiorucci T-shirt.
it hasn't been easy !!!!
jesus =color=color=color=COLOR, Almighty salvation into the celestial stratosphere.
the fabric, the ink, the garment and the chair to me are the Orgasm of LIFE.
Enjoy the ride! As I Have.
I was born in a cross fire hurricane........well almost. A child of the 50, 60, 70, 80s, 90, 2000s, and now 2017. I can finally say Ive been there, done that and got the damn T-Shirt!
Growing up was idyllic in the Boogie down Bronx in the late 1950s until at lunch home from 3rd grade, sitting at my tv table eating my ham and cheese sandwich in front of our RCA black and white television... President JOHN F. KENNEDY LIVE SHOT DEAD. That was a big trauma. Only to follow Martin Luther KING JR. My parents hysterically crying in our apartment on West 239th street. Then came the marches, the Black Panthers, the Riots, the fire...it was all so surreal. Thats when I retreated into myself and began to create things. And There was Malcolm X. My father was a mad scientist, he worked at Columbia -Presbyterian hospital and he'd drive me in our beige and white 1955 Chrysler Newport with big tail fins to Washington Heights when one day I saw him. And the church. There was a big glistening White Rolls-Royce and a man... to me a very important Fabulous man, a cool ass preacher man laden with diamond rings...it was Reverend Ike. I fell in love!
The time was that way for me....Soul Train, Saturday noon, right on the dot.... The Bowery Boys, Patti Duke, Tarzan movies and of course The Jetsons... yes Judy! and The Flintstones...
MA !....Please can we get a color tv... All the neighbors have one please ma! NO ! NO ! NO!
Daddy.......Well sure kiddo!!!! YESSSSSSS! daddy always came thru.... God bless you daddy!
Now I could fake being sick at least once every two weeks depending on what was on Million Dollar movie channel 5 to stay home from school to make stuff in my room!!! YEAAAAAAASSS!
First FORT! LINCOLN LOGS and fort with dime store army guys out of green plastic ...
Then came cardboard rooms and then came OMFG.....my mothers closets became my supply store.
My mother worked every day of her life and at 94 years old! (Love you mama)! as a therapist at Riverdale Mental Health Center. My Dada worked very hard. We weren't rich at all, but we were okay and my mother had VERY, VERY, VERY good taste and loved to shop for the Right thing....not a lot, but the best she could afford. And the best part about was she taught me !
Charlie! "DON'T YOU SENSURE MY CREDIT CARD!!!!! OMG! JOAN RIVERS....YOU AIN'T GOT NUTTIN ON LILLIAN!
There was a Missoni orange and brown argyle twin set in the closet.....and Girdles...and bras...what the hell!
Well I had my set -up!
Our housekeeper slash THE FIRST love of my life LUELLA, a southern belle with big ole Ax to grind! We were partners in crime from the Getgo!
I would use my floor as a cutting table, my room was very Dorothy Draper!....I would cut and draw and scotch tape my creations not to mention crayon on all my mother's Henri Bendel sweaters and Hide them under my bed...Luella NEVER ratted me out....we were down to the ground!
My mother would find out and the Lillian finger would start..... OH SHIT! OY VEZMERE!...SHE WOULD SCREAM shaking her index finger about half an inch away from my face.."NOW LISTEN YOU!!!!" the finger shaking violently...
"Lillian!" Dad would say. "What the hell are you screaming at JoAnn For!!! Shes HACKING EVERYTHING TO SMITHEREENS"!!!!!"
WELL I only had one way out....I became a MILITANT....POWER TO THE PEOPLE RIGHT ON!!!!!
Thank god when I went out to art school, San Francisco Art Institute and BERKELEY...or BEZERKLY as we called it! GOD delivered ME to my second mentor in chief...my womens studies professor the one the only TAMU...ANGELA DAVIS!...what luck. I could pursue my militancy with a degree from college! SORT OF !!! HAHAH!!!
Well it goes on and on but life is always fun and good and loving and then I met Papi...the KING of KINGS, the LOVE and ETERNAL Flame... the honeymoon every minute, my HUSBAND, MY BROTHER, MY FRIEND, MY FATHER, MY SON.......LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL....THANK YOU GOD WHERE EVER YOU ARE AND PROTECT THE ONES LESS FORTUNATE.....LONG LIVE LIFE !
AND to my SLAMMING SISTER NINA BERMAN, THE GREATEST PHOTOJOURNALIST OF OUR TIME...GOOGLE HER!!!!.....NINALA!!!! I WOULDN'T BE HERE IF IT WASN'T FOR YOU.....ALWAYS GOT YOUR BACK!!!!
MY NINE LIVES ARE OVER....THE REAL LIFE IS JUST BEGINNING! ITS INFINITE!
With much respect and thanks and grace
Blessings to you all,
2017, BED-STUDY BROOKLYN
PS, I LOVE YOU MY KIDS, LENNY LEOMAR AND BIG MAKIVE....THIS IS FOR YOU !!!!!!
EDUCATION AND AWARDS
BOSTON MUSEUM SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS AND TUFTS UNIVERSITY 1976-77
SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUE AND BERKELY COLLEGE 1977-79
SAINT MARTINS COLLEGE OF ART LONDON 1979-82
PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN NEW YORK 1985-1897 BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS IN FASHION
SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS ANIMATION DEPARTMENT 2001
WELDER FOR RICHARD SHORE 1972-1974 NEW JERSEY INSTALLATION STORM KING NEW YORK
ECCO-DOMANI AWARD SUSTAINABLE 2011
24 HOUR CATWALK WINNER PREMIER EPISODE 2011
WWD BREAKOUT DESIGNER 2011