Artist bio

Rachel Berkowitz (b. 1993) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Born in 1993 in Columbus, Ohio, and raised in London, Rachel Berkowitz received her BA in Fine Arts from the UCLA School of Art and Architecture in 2016. Her practice concentrates on social interactions within different spaces, and includes painting, printmaking and photography. Previously, she has exhibited in group shows and at special events in Los Angeles, London and Japan.


Risk Taking



Artist Statement

Artist Statement
Rachel Berkowitz

This large oil painting references 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 backdrops of natural scenery. Just as our surroundings subconsciously influence our deepest desires, the landscapes invite the viewer to enter and remain engrossed.

This new space turns into an escape from reality. The work seeks to create a feeling, rather than convey a single message about the debated good vs evil nature of risk taking. The aim is to achieve a feeling similar to that of “machine zone”, where viewers become preoccupied and unaware of what attracted them.

Initial inspiration for the work drew from observations of gamblers in Las Vegas casinos and scenery from a cross-country road trip. Additional research led to a deeper exploration of the psychology of gambling, the role of monetary rewards and the seductive properties of colors and symbols. In the paintings, the vibrant colors and imagery of slot machines are integrated into surreal landscapes. Motifs, such as crystals, cherries and lucky flowers, create a subconscious association to gambling and the expectation of monetary rewards. Much inspiration has been drawn from texts that focus on temptation of good vs. evil regarding religion and spiritualism. Milton’s Paradise Lost highlights the idea of temptation as a “Forbidden fruit”, and this concept originates from the Book of Genesis concerning the original sin by Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:16–17. In the Bible, Adam and Eve eat the fruit of knowledge which gives them the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, even though they were commanded not to do by God. This mindset that swept up Adam and Eve can be directly compared to the psychology behind the addicted gambler; he knows what he is doing has its consequences, yet his temptations lead him to overcome all moralities and rational thinking.

The work also incorporates spiritual symbols to explore the human need for constant affirmation - from mystical divinations predicting fate to lucky objects like amulets. The Hebrew writing references the historical notions of gambling, present in the biblical times in different forms such as lots, betting and even playing dreidel. Hebrew is the ancient language used in biblical times and the writing literally translates to “Risk Taker”. The writing is placed in the sky to religiously and spiritually hint at a godly force watching down. Featuring mountains, rock formations and glaciers, the landscapes play with notions of chance and choice. They depict nature as both a spiritual force and source of contemplation when facing important life decisions.

How it fits into contest

I have contemporarily represented the spiritual battle found in Ephesians in the form of gambling. Just as symbols and monetary rewards might tempt us, these temptations have evil roots and might lead to addictions and other negative connotations. Like the verse concludes, humans must remain strong in their will power, they must not succumb to evil temptations and must remain righteous in decision making.


Rachel Berkowitz

How to Purchase this Artwork

It’s an original painting.
Oil on canvas with a wooden frame
170cm x 150cm x 4cm
Price- $3500
Available for shipping and delivery.
For purchase, please contact me via my email:

Other Goods & Services Available from this Artist

Direct commissions
Mural painting commissions

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