New Glass Sculptures from JB Berkow

JB started her career painting figurative works of art.  However, at the time landscapes were what was selling. So, she began painting cityscapes and landscapes of Europe.  She became quite famous selling these paintings, especially the Venetian works, of which she has sold thousands of prints world-wide.  One of her church scenes is in the  permanent collection of the Vatican Art Museum in Rome.  But she missed the female figure. And so, 30 years ago she began figurative sculpting casting her work in bronze.  Now that she has founded the Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts, which is a 3-D, fine art fabrication facility concentrating on all things glass, she now casts her work in glass.  Each piece is one-of-a-kind utilizing paint and flame-worked embellishments created by the artist. There will be only 8 castings produced of each series.

Femme Fatales - Animus Series

Animus is a psychological term that Jungian coined to describe an archetype that represents the masculine characteristics of the female psyche.

The ‘Animus’ series is part of JB’s larger series of ‘Femme Fatales,’ all of which depict females posed in a very seductive manner. The ‘Animus’ series takes this to an even more licentious level because these are the masculine lustier side of the female psyche. Many of her titles make reference to films. It was apropos that for this particular series she should naturally turn to one of her favorite genres: ‘Film Noir.’ After all, one of the main components of these fun, dark films were their memorable, lusty roles for women, referred to as femme fatales! There will be only 8 castings for this series. Each one is hand-painted, and enhanced with flame-worked embellishments made by the artist. Thus, each is its own unique work of art.


The Feather Boas: It took JB forever to figure out how to make a glass feather boa! But after three months of ruminating on the problem, she came up with what she calls her glass ‘feather boa beads.’ Each feather boa bead is made separately. They are basically a flat round piece of glass with stringy and feathery protrusions with a hole in the middle. When she completes the number of beads that she needs, she strings them together like a necklace. The boa pictured here is made with forty beads.

Femme Fatales - Rosebud Series

An Ode to Orson Welles

Continuing in the ‘Film Noir' genre, JB in this series evokes the major theme of the most famous film noir movie of all, “Citizen Kane.”  In the storyline, the word ‘rosebud’ referred to Kane’s sled and consequently his early childhood home and loving mother. However in reality, and the reason William Randolph Hearst, whose life the movie was based on, was so irate about its production was that Orson Welles was making fun of Marian Davies, his wife.  It was well known in Hollywood circles that Hearst referred to Marian’s intimate area as ‘rosebud.’  Of course, Hearst was mad on many levels as you can imagine.  Firstly Marian, unlike in the movie was a very talented and successful actress.  But, all the many discrepancies made for a wonderful movie, one that tops all the ‘Best Movie’ lists of all time.

There will be only 8 castings for this series.  Each one is hand-painted, and enhanced with flame-worked  embellishments made by the artist. Thus, each is its own unique work of art.

NOTE: The glass feather boa, which is part of Rosebud II, is an interactive decorative device.  The owner can either drape it over the figure’s shoulders or leave it off entirely.

Femme Fatales - Coquette Series

A coquette is a flirt, a girl or woman who knows how to flatter and manipulate men with her charms in order to get what she wants. There are so many of these examples throughout the rich history of ‘Film Noir.’ You might say that flirtation is a prerequisite of being a ‘femme fatale.’ Perhaps the most famous of these characters is the is title role in the movie “Lolita.” That is why the artist plans to create at least two sculptures depicting this major coquette icon of all time! “Blue Dahlia” and “Blue Velvet” are also planned. “Amber” is not inspired by a film noir, but she could be see as a young mother nature entreating her viewers to do the right thing by the planet.

Four Seasons Series

The ‘Four Seasons’ was the first series JB cast in glass. They are not part of a limited edition because each one is hand painted and embellished with hand lamp worked items created by the artist. This makes each piece a one-of-a-kind work of art. For ‘Summer,' the artist uses different colors of roses. For ‘Springtime’ she uses the spring flower, periwinkles and sometimes adds birds and nests to the sculptures. ‘Fall’ of course utilizes lots of fall leaves, and for ‘Winter’ she either uses clear roses, what she likes to call her ‘ice roses.’ However, she might use snowflakes or holly. Some of these 11-inch figurines are made alone while some are attached to a tree. JB did this in case buyers want to collect all four and felt it would make a more interesting display to have a couple on trees.

Bronze Sculptures

These are the first sculptures that JB produced.  This was around the late 90s.  She yearned to do something with the female figure, but was doing so well with the European landscapes that she didn't want to give up painting them.  The bronze studio open to taking outside artist's work, however, was in Sarasota.  This lack of studio availability on the East Coast of Florida was the first impetus to start her plans to open a nonprofit fine art, 3-dimensional fabrication facility.  Thus, the idea for the Benzaiten center was born.