Rachel Berkowitz: Playing with Fate

Berkowitz’s large-scale oil paintings play with the idea of risk and chance. Psychologically stimulating colors and symbols are depicted against surreal natural landscapes, inducing meditations and spiritual reflections. There are elements of luck, gambling symbols, and hints of mysticism embedded within the work, creating anthropomorphic slot machines.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised in London, Rachel Berkowitz graduated with a BA in Fine Arts from the UCLA School of Art and Architecture in 2016. The artist has exhibited her photography, painting, and printmaking in galleries and global artist events in Los Angeles, London, and Japan. She has been awarded first place in various International Fine Art competitions, and has received numerous commissions from private homes in Malibu, to staging for Palm Springs Modernism Week, to painting a mural for Bill Nye, The Science Guy’s new videos filmed at The Planetary Society in Pasadena. Her artist residencies range from the La Napoule Artist Foundation in France, to the Slade School of Art London Summer Intensive in England, to the Volcanoes of Lassen Volcanic National Park, in California.


The oil paintings reference risk and chance, allowing for contemplation about personal choices and decisions. The work depicts captivating, desirable worlds, composed of abstracted elements from popular gambling machines against imaginary backdrops of natural scenery. Just as our surroundings subconsciously influence our deepest desires, the landscapes invite the viewer to enter and remain engrossed.

These Playing with Fate paintings turn into an escape from reality. The work seeks to create a feeling, rather than conveying a single message about the nature of risk taking. The aim is to achieve a gambling feeling similar to that of “machine zone”, where viewers become preoccupied and unaware of what initially attracted them. Additional research led to a deeper exploration of the psychology of gambling, the role of monetary rewards within consumerist culture and the seductive properties of colors and symbols. 

The surreal natural landscapes themselves play with notions of chance and choice. This fleeting moment is the context of the work, where the mind can focus on psychologically enticing spaces; providing a space for personal reflections and realizations. The spiritual symbols explore the human need for constant affirmation - from mystical divinations predicting fate to viewing nature as a form of currency.


On exhibit November 19, 2020 through January 26, 2021

Monday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Tuesday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Wednesday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Thursday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Friday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Saturday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Sunday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM