Marit Berg is a painter and printmaker. Her figurative paintings are loose in style and seemingly spontaneous. This contrasts with the methodical investment to process dictated by printmaking. Teaching printmaking for the last 14 years at Tacoma Community College, has allowed her to dig deep into processes while focusing on craftsmanship and discipline. This pairing of media has resulted in paintings and prints, imbued with symbolism, that manage to feel both process-driven and magical at the same time.
Although Marit works in an expressive-realist style, she is not always concerned with the pure representation of her subject matter. Her work frequently features animals, the land, and the human form, with a subtext that expresses the delicate balance of life within the natural world, the relationships between species and how animals develop particular traits to thrive in their habitats. It is about life,it is about survival. She balances a scientific view of the natural world’s order and classifications with mythological representations of animals as analogs for human behavior. She often deals with themes of predation, vulnerability, sensuality, isolation, and hierarchy inherent in both the animal kingdom and human societies.
“Natural selection rewards survival through adaptation. These adaptations reveal themselves in interesting and varied forms, particularly in animals. They may evolve as competitive display; to warn off a predator; or as camouflage in the surroundings. These traits have also informed myth and symbolism in many cultures. I investigate these traits and contrast them to exemplify the diversity and specialization of the species, in separate works.”
Marit grew up in a printmaking studio, where her father taught for over 30 years, but primarily saw herself as a painter; following the footstep of her mother, a Fulbright scholar abstract expressionist painter. After after receiving her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from San Diego State University she took a position in the printmaking department of Tacoma Community College. Since then, Marit has shifted between and often blended these disparate approaches.