Ian Berry was followed in his studio and around London by the Mutha cameras and interviewed especially with the angle of the up cycling that his work is and on sustainability.
2018 has been a busy year for Ian Berry and Tonello. And by working together it has shown that Tonello is a lot more than ‘just making machines’.
Always focusing on the customers needs, both post and after sales with ideas and practical solutions, Ian has been impressed with the what he has seen at Tonello each time he has been there with clients from around the world flying in to see what they can learn. Tonello has the ‘Creative Area’ where they can really demonstate what their machines can do, and for Ian it is much more than the Laser Blade as its that combined with the washing that has really brought his work to life.
Working closely with Alice Tonello and her skilled staff, from the R&D and marketing teams Ian has forged a strong bond with this family run Italian company and has enjoyed several trips to the northern Italian HQ this past couple of years. It has been great for him to use the tools that the industry are now using and with the company that has sustainability at its forefront.
Ian is often spoken of a sustainable, upcycling and eco artist and Tonello has technologies that respect the environment, that consume less energy, few additives, and indeed little of everything. Everything they do has the environment in mind. And its not only the environment outside, but that of the workers using the machines and also the end user, the people buying a pair of jeans.
Today, putting on a pair of jeans treated using Tonello technology means respecting oneself and one’s own health.
And it is thanks to their peoples commitment that they are known around the world as the top partner of great fashion brands, as the link between designers and companies involved in washing, dyeing and garment finishing and that has been seen on many of the trips to Italy Ian has been on where he has met many of the big names in denim, under the Tonello roof in Sarcedo, in the Province of Vicenza.
The word ‘sustainability’ for us is an ethical imperative that allows for no compromise. If it did not, we would just be machine manufacturers.
Tonello has evolved over the years since 1981 having sold 7000 machines, becoming a modern, technologically advanced company that has offered the market reliable, truly ground-breaking products in garment finishing machines are known over the world for the quality of their all-Italian manufacture and top-level performance.
All this knowledge and expertise they were able to share with Ian but also to challenge the staff and their machines to push boundaries to make not garments, and not just art, but large installations. Already their collaborative efforts have been shown in New York, the South of France, Kentucky, Miami and now in London at the Soho Records installation and soon to see in San Fran, the largest install yet that will combine the flowers and this historic denim city in a public piece of art in a soon to be revealed central San Francisco location.
From lasered plants and vines, both cut and ‘etched’ to bricks and tees, to signs and washed textures, and this is only the beginning.
It’s a year since the installation ‘Secret Garden’ went up in New York at the Children’s Museum of New York, which was the first time Ian Berry and Tonello had worked together on an installation - what a year it has been since.
Today Tonello is the international benchmark for the garment-processing industry and by working with an artist that shows around the world in galleries, museums, and art fairs together they are creating something really special. Ian looks forward to see tonello carry on progressing on making sustainable ways for the denim and garment industry and to further combine to make groundbreaking art installations that can inspire many people around the world.
Ian Berry is in Miami this week and shows a body of work based on the Deuce Bar.
‘I have been to Miami several times during Art Basel and this time I wanted to do something specific to Miami. I’d thought about what to do and as I spent my time going around the fairs I saw little of Miami on previous trips - other than the ‘Deuce’. I had already done my bars and pubs, mainly in London. It’s a perfect place to do in my body of works as it a bastion of a time past while much changes around, not always for the better…’ Ian said.
The oldest Bar in Miami opened in 1926 and was owned-run by Mac Klein –since 1964. Its ‘laid-back ambiance, rustic decor, pool table’ & cigarette haze (yeh you can smoke inside) jukebox making this South Beach institution a local hangout, and during Art Basel week, a place for artists, dealers and collectors to take a break - often well into the early hours.
The changing Fabric of our urban environment
In a city that changes like an indecisive chameleon, an island always for sale to the highest bidder, Mac’s joint has remained a pristine, neon-lit paradise untouched by outside forces and this continues Ian’s interest in documenting places that are at the heart of communities while all else changes.
I wanted to portray the bar but there is so much to it, and I wanted to do both the inside and out, the outside with the Neon Lights scream Miami and well, I like the challenge of showing how lights hit things on the inside and a sucker for punishment with all the details in the mirror’
In an aptly titled 1989 Miami Herald article, the headline read All Kinds Make a Merry Mix At Mac’s Club Deuce which demonstrated the complete eclectic clientele the bar gets, where literally all kinds go in. Mac himself called it the Shangri-La of South Beach and these are just two of the titles of Ian’s work.
Mac died aged 101 in 2016 but his legacy lives on, almost unchanged.
see more images
Mac’s Club Deuce
222 14th Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139
See the work at
Miami Beach Pavilion, 801 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
Booth A11 Red Truck Gallery
62 Dean Street | Soho | London | W1D 4QF
on until Jan 20
You can now see Ian Berry’s exhibition 24 hours a day in London’s Soho. On view at the Smallest Gallery in Soho, a curated space in the heart of London and made to be viewed from the window. You’ll see albums, tees and jackets and even a denim vinyl player but as fun as the show may be, it’s also a comment on the declining high street.
While the location in Soho is perfect as its famed for the music industry, as well as many famous record stores - many only in memory now. He also gives a nod to the connection to the music industry and denim.
From the Curators Phil Levine and Andreia Costa
The Smallest Gallery in Soho presents ‘Soho Records’ by Ian Berry who is known for his works made just out of denim. Berry has turned the gallery into a unique vintage record store in a response to the ever-changing high street. Look closely and you’ll see at the heart of it is an acute observation of ‘communities’ and how they have changed. Where now we would meet for coffee, many in the past from the music community and like minded people would meet at a record store.
The space is filled with record covers, tee shirts, records and framed albums. Many have a connection to Soho and the story of denim. Music and denim have gone together through time. With acts and genres ranging from Elvis to heavy metal, Bob Dylan and punk, the pioneers of youth music have worn jeans. Many famous album covers of all time feature this artisan fabric.
Last year, 4.1 million vinyl records were sold in the UK, almost 1 million more than 2016, and a 12-fold increase on the levels seen in 2011. Fashion and music have always been inherently entwined together in society. Gone are the days of Virgin Megastore, HMV, Our Price, Woolworths and Tower Records where you would see such musical covers projected onto our streets. Yet it is an ode to the constant underground that music is always around and reinventing itself, as well as our lives.
To see more images
About The Smallest Gallery in Soho
The Smallest Gallery in Soho is a historic shop-front which faces onto Dean Street, in the heart of Soho. The aim of this intimate gallery is to display artwork that captures people’s attention on their journey through Soho and encourage them to stop, think and be inspired. It hopes to transcend the rapid changes of building developments and the dispersion of the creative cohort — that was once so vibrant within the area — by exhibiting free and engaging art works to view from the street.
The space was established by The Garage Soho, an early stage investor company that champions brand building and creativity.
Moira Rizopoulos (@moirarizo)
Philip Levine (@philiplevine)
Andreia Costa (@a_m_da_costa)
Lighting Design @Syntaxlighting
Supporters @cocolightingltd @conedenim @tonelloslr & ArchitectualFX
Today saw the launch of Ian Berry's new book and to celebrate it the BBC covered it with Jo Good at BBC Radio London interviewing him about it and upcoming events as well as him being featured on the BBC News website. Over the next few days there will be a lot of new events and media interviews - as well as chances to win his new book
On Wednesday 23rd of May Ian will be back on the Jo Good show on BBC Radio London. Jo covered Ian's exhibition in 2016 and her enthusiasm was infectious, so much so when asked many people who came to the show said they's come off the back of the interview - an amazing success from a non visual radio.
Jo will have Ian back on to talk about his new book, Ian Berry | Denim on Denim tomorrow you can listen on BBC RADIO London at 2pm
Ian Berry’s new book, Denim on Denim is now out and available to order online.
· 144 page paperback book
· Over 110 images in full colour (well, full of blue)
· Looks over some of his 12 years of making his artwork using only denim
· Many images show detail shots of his work that have to be seen to be believed.
· Forward by Brenda Emmanus – BBC Arts and Culture Correspondent
· Hardback is £45 and paperback £29
· Postage is £4 to the UK with next day delivery
· Postage is £7 within Europe, £9 to the rest of the world
Find out more and purchase here
arts&activites magazine has published a piece on Ian Berry further highlighting Ian's education credentials. Coming out, coincidentally around the same time as the Children's Museum of the Arts opened its doors to the Secret Garden Installation.
It also shows how a school did a project on him, and here one of the kids works makes the cover.
you can find Arts & Activities here online.
Ian Berry's Secret Garden at the CMA was live on the Mother Nature Network with Starre Vartan interviewing Museum Curator Jil Weinstock and Newlin Tillotson head of Social Media.