Full bio

Berlin-based artist Tina Berning’s practice is largely concerned with the female form, weaving a visual dialogue between female identity and a long history of imposed femininity. With the use of watercolour, collage and sometimes thread, Berning deconstructs existing aesthetic frameworks of women as perceived in the fashion and beauty industries. The women in Tina’s work are always gracefully depicted, yet their beauty remains imperfect. Figures hover on the page, lacking any context or environment to indicate who these women are. Often, single words like Hide or Undo float in the air above the weightless figures, offering the only narrative. The studied gestures often refer to compulsion and repression. The elegant women usually found on glossy magazines instead appear on yellowed, torn or scrap paper. Berning rescues text books, ledger paper, shopping lists and old record sleeves from flea markets and estate sales to render visible the traces of aging, transience or death. 

In recent years, Tina Berning has collaborated with Italian fashion photographer Michelangelo Di Battista, creating an interdisciplinary dialogue which subtly disrupts the visual codes of fashion, portraiture and the female figure. Given a single photographic image and one attempt to reinvent it, Berning manipulates Di Battista’s duotone prints by scratching their surfaces, adding layers of paint or cutting them to pieces. Tina Berning applies her own analogue retouching to the high-fashion models. By transforming, highlighting or re-imagining their experience, Berning addresses themes of voyeurism, consent and communication. Tina Berning's work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions with Alison Milne Gallery for 10 years. Berning has also exhibited regularly in solo exhibitions in Europe and Japan, and has been featured at numerous international art fairs.

Alongside her fine art career, Tina Berning is also one of the most sought-after Illustration artists worldwide. Since 2000, her award-winning illustrations have been published across the globe and shown in many renowned anthologies. Tina’s work been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Playboy (US and Germany), Vogue (Italy, Japan, Germany), Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Architectural Digest and many others. Her early passion for editorial illustration led her to an intensive contemplation on the human figure. Reflecting the female role in media is one of the core issues in her artistic practice.