Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pizza and art are a good mix

If you are like the majority of people you go to a pizza restaurant for the food, beverages and maybe the location and service.

Lanesplitter Pizza and Pub in Berkeley besides having such interesting pizza combos such as the Heartstopper, the Chopper and the Splitter has added a new service to the menu. Rather to the wall.

For the past six years they have added artwork, paintings and other exhibits to the already cozy atmosphere inside. Their manager Chloe said they have been showcasing a variety of local and up and coming artists who normally do not have a chance to display their talents at galleries and similar venues.

The artist has the entire month to showcase their work on the walls of Lanesplitter's and it provides a unique diversion from the usual television screens and video games one gets accustomed to. Plus you can learn something new from the exhibits.

For the month of March the artist who is showing their paintings is Jesse Berger.

"We like an idea what type of work an artist does before we let them put their work inside," Chloe said. "Jesse was here a lot and he basically drew on some napkins to show me his style and that was enough to put his work on our walls."

Jesse has been painting for three years now and he describes his style as "modern."

"There is creativity in everybody," he said. "When I start a painting I think never think about drawing something in particular."

Not being an art critic I was drawn to several of the dozen paintings he had on display. Some are colorful, some have objects or people in them, some make you really think and imagine what is it you see in the work.

Jesse has done over fifty paintings and hopes someday to display them internationally. He counts Alex Grey and Jean Michel Basquiat as artists he admires.

While he was in Hawaii recently, Jesse also participated in painting a mural in Kauai, in which copies are being sold in Los Angeles to the benefit victims of the tsunami and quake in Japan.

While we usually stare endlessly at the menu on what to order, Lanesplitter's give every customer a new experience by giving them a reprieve from reading and admiring the artwork on the walls