above: Ian Berry AKA Denimu, A Blue Eye (Avalon Pub), denim on denim, 122x61cm (48.03×24.02inches)
UK artist Ian Berry works in a medium usually reserved for fashion – denim. he constructs scenes and figures by cutting and piecing together that well-worn closet staple, jeans. As a result of this, he goes by the name Denimu and has attracted quite a following worldwide.
above: portrait of Lapo Elkann
above: Journey Home
above: Mike and Ike
Using various shades of denim, he cuts and stitches the pieces together to create urban scenes and detailed portraits.
above: Flocking to the Portobello Market (in progress)
Newsstand Installation in New York
His newsstand installation that appeared in New York was phenomenal. Consisting of numerous magazine covers, candy bars and even a vending machine, Denimu pieced together each and every element of the life-sized work:
And here’s a look at some of the individual magazine covers created for the above piece:
More pieces of his work.
Before It Went Down:
The Brooklyn Diner:
The Other Side Of The Track:
Artist Biography (courtesy of cattogallery.co.uk):
IAN BERRY Aka DENIMU
We all love denim, don’t we? It’s the great democratic fabric, worn by everyone from the farmer to the aristocrat, the manual worker to the oligarch.
But for the British artist Ian Berry, it is so much more. It’s probably fair to say, Ian is obsessed. This is the guy who changed his stage name to Denimu and made a career out of turning jeans into works of art.
Ian conjures remarkably detailed portraits and urban landscapes using nothing more than discarded jeans. Over many weeks he cuts, stitches and glues using only the varying shades of the fabric to provide contrast and shadow. The effect is extraordinary.
Ian’s denim epiphany came during a trip back to his childhood home in Huddersfield. During a big clear-out session, Ian found himself staring at a big pile of unwanted jeans destined for the charity shop. Affectionate memories came flooding back, along with a wave of tactile enthusiasm for the fabric. At that point, he knew he’d found the key to his artistic career.
Born 1984 in Huddersfield, UK, Ian began his artistic experiments with denim while working as an art director in London and Sydney. Despite building a successful career and creating campaigns for brands such as Nissan, Guinness and Talisker Whiskey, the call of the rivets and seams was too deafening to ignore.
Eventually, the public caught on and Ian enjoyed enough commercial success to devote himself full time to his art. He had two near sell-out shows in Sweden, his new adopted home, and also showed in the US and Portugal. His work has since sold across Europe, America, the Middle East and Australasia to private, public and corporate collections, and has been featured in innumerable art and fashion magazines from Elle to Playboy and interviewed on Swedish and Portuguese TV.
Naturally, Ian’s enthusiasm for denim goes beyond exploring its artistic potential. He’s also become something of a historian of the textile. So you can imagine how delighted he worked with the town of Fairmount, Indiana last year. Fairmount is the home town of James Dean, who arguably launched denim as a fashion item when he wore those Lee Riders in Rebel Without A Cause. So when the James Dean Gallery wanted a mural, they came to Ian. He based his work on the iconic Roy Schatt photograph to create what has become possibly the first denim ‘street art’ project in the world.
A shout out to the fabulous textile artist Ellen November for bringing this unusual work to my attention.