There has always been a good reason to go to Tangier. Jean Genet, Paul Morand, Mohammed Choukri, Tennessee Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Byron Gysin, William Burroughs, Pierre Loti, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse … all had one. Some for a love affair, often prohibited. Some to escape the law. Some to find a place to hide or get rid of burdensome obligations. Some wanted to find the words for a poem, or a novel. Some wanted to cast a new light on colours. Some wanted to get lost, plain and simple. And others, such as Thomas Berra, went to Tangier "to take a line for a walk" (Paul Klee), to wander aimlessly, and without boundaries, in a piece of paper.
In Tangier, Thomas's lines did not draw borders or paths. Like will-o'-the-wisps, they flared up suddenly and put dreams on paper, turning them into signs.
In Tangier, Thomas built a secret labyrinth he walked through light-hearted and confident. And we are happy to get lost inside it, without worrying about finding a way out.
Thomas Berra (Desio, 1986). Various exhibitions and projects in his career: Liberarea, his first solo exhibition in Milan in 2005; a collective show in Paris at the Galerie Marie-Claude Goinard in 2006; a joint show with the artist Enrico Manera at the Ars Italica gallery in Milan in 2007. That same year, he also took part in the Treno dell'Arte (Art Train) project, and Cow Parade chose one of his cows with black and white patterns for the Arch of Peace in Milan. In 2008 he had a solo exhibition at Villa Litta in Milan, and collective shows such as Premio Italian Factory at the Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan or Vuoti a rendere (Return the empties) at the Art Due gallery. He presented his works in China, Shanghai, with Masters of Brera. 2008 was also the year of Sold Out, a collective exhibition of young emerging and established artists, staged by Berra in an abandoned supermarket near Limbiate. In 2009 he had two different shows together with Paul Kostaby; he exhibited in Taormina, at the Mazzullo Foundation, and with the Bag Art Factory collective, of which he was a member. Again in 2009, he participated in the first edition of Step09, which he also attended the following year at the Science and Technology Museum in Milan. In 2010, he was one of the speakers at the Art Attack conference: how art is invading the world of communication, at the Circolo della Stampa in Milan, together with Valerio Berruti and Bros; he had a solo exhibition at Villa Durazzo in Santa Margherita Ligure. In the spring of 2011, he took part in the first edition of Arte Accessibile (Accessible Art) in Milan, and in early October staged a collective exhibition entitled EX, at the former Church of San Carlo dei Barnabiti in Florence. CIAO, February 2012, was a solo exhibition which marked the start of the partnership with Room Galleria in Milan; in March 2012, they worked together to present his works at MiArt. Crises & Rises, October 2012: an exhibition by 5 Italian artists curated by Rossella Farinotti and held at the art gallery of the French Institute at Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan. In 2013 he won the Unicredit award and held a solo exhibition at Superstudio Più in Milan, following a competition in Rome, Contemporary times. Alla ricerca del tempo perso e guadagnato (In search of time lost and gained). He converted his own studio into an exhibition space, called LabRouge, for experimental projects by young artists and designers. In April 2013, I'll be your mirror, a solo exhibition at the Wilson Project, Sassari. In June 2013, Lost Shelf, a joint exhibition with the Polish sculptor Monika Grycko, at the gallery of Bianca Maria Rizzi and Matthias Ritter. In October 2013, he was a resident artist at the Tabadoul space in Tangier, where he held an exhibition in December 2013 with another young Italian artist living in the Moroccan city, Matteo Zinesi, called 2 e mezzo. Corrispondenze d'innumerevoli sensi (2 1/2. Correlations among countless senses). Since 2012, Thomas has been involved in the Subculture fanzine, a publishing project in collaboration with Altavia Italia.