Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Press photos by Paul CmilBob and Sharon Friedman take a shot at reproducing a section of the famous “The Last Supper” painting during a exhibit at Bridge Street Studio & Gallery, 121 Bridge St., Catasauqua. The refrigerator doors are covered with chalkboard paint, and the painting was pitched to the makeshift canvas from an overhead projector. Press photos by Paul CmilBob and Sharon Friedman take a shot at reproducing a section of the famous “The Last Supper” painting during a exhibit at Bridge Street Studio & Gallery, 121 Bridge St., Catasauqua. The refrigerator doors are covered with chalkboard paint, and the painting was pitched to the makeshift canvas from an overhead projector.
Above: This painting is a section of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” painting. “Refrigerator Art” by David Berkner was on display last month at the borough gallery. Above: This painting is a section of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” painting. “Refrigerator Art” by David Berkner was on display last month at the borough gallery.
Right: Marie Hallquist grabs a burger and a hat for a video lunch break with Andy Warhol. Right: Marie Hallquist grabs a burger and a hat for a video lunch break with Andy Warhol.

Not your typical refrigerator art

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Catasauqua artist displays work at Bridge Street gallery

The ever-creative David Berkner opened an exhibit at Bridge Street Studio & Gallery, 121 Bridge St., Catasauqua, Dec. 1, 2017, to exhibit his concept of refrigerator door art. What it is not is a collection of your kids’ elementary school drawings held up with magnets on the fridge door.

You might remember the quirky artist put a life-size version of Washington Crossing the Delaware at one of the tennis courts last year.

“For the refrigerator doors, it was a concept I saw when I lived in New York City. The Guggenheim opened a small out-of-the-way gallery. When I walked in to the near vacant space and looked at the pictures, I realized what the artist did. He put a picture on an overhead projector and traced the lines,” Berkner said. “I thought that I could do that, and I let the idea wander around in my mind for a few years.”

What sparked the project was Berkner’s fascination with Andy Warhol’s work with “The Last Supper.” According to Berkner, Warhol took on a commission to work with Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” masterpiece.

“The piece has been replicated so many times because it was originally a fresco and deteriorated. The only way to preserve the painting was to reproduce it. You couldn’t take a picture of it in 1600, so people copied it on their easels,” he said.

Little of the original fresco remains, even though there have been numerous attempts to restore it. The latest attempt was 1999.

It took da Vinci three years to complete the painting. One rumor has it that a prior at the monastery complained to da Vinci about the delay. The artist is reported to have said he was working to get the face of Judas just right. However, if he couldn’t envision the right expression, he would use the face of the complaining prior.

Warhol took on “The Last Supper” commission in the last years of his life. No one else wanted the commission and did not have the creativity for the famous artwork. Warhol’s rework is legendary. His prints are readily available.

Berkner contends there are too many similarities in Warhol’s life and his father’s life.

“They were both named Andy, grew up in western Pennsylvania, Catholic, blue-collar roots,” he said.

The result? Each refrigerator door has a section of “The Last Supper” painted on the enameled surface.

“I had one patron who kept me going on the project, but I finished the doors about 10 years ago,” he said.