January 17, 2023 - Timothy Tew


While in Los Angeles in March 2022, I went for a jog, turning up unfamiliar streets until I arrived at Sunset Boulevard. Finally recognizing where I was, I remembered having seen a nearby gallery that looked interesting. After waiting for the traffic light to change, I rushed across the many lanes for a look.

The gallery, located in an old brick building (probably from the 1920s) was closed, so I peered through its large front windows—the type of plate-glass once used by stores to promote their products. There, facing the street, I discovered a bright, entirely red painting enhanced with rows of undulating red marks. The painting spoke to me, but it caught me off guard because my jog had been arbitrary and minimalism has never been easy for me to appreciate.

This discovery prompted a deeper look into the gallery. There I saw four more abstract paintings. They were boldly patterned and much more colorful, but clearly all painted by the same artist. My excitement was enriched by the fact I had just attended three major LA art fairs and had not felt this way about anything else costing less than $100,000.

My mind raced. Could this be an opportunity for Atlanta?



An artist’s creations reflect their history, personality, point of view, and ambitions, so every artist I approach unveils a mystery, an opportunity, and an unknown aspect of myself. Intrigued by what I had just discovered, the next step was to figure out the artist’s name, reach out for a meeting, and perhaps determine whether we might work together in the future. 

The artist’s name was not displayed on the front window, so I googled the gallery to find it. With his name in hand, I messaged him through Instagram. Fishing for talent in a big lake like LA can be challenging, so I wondered what kind of response I would get.

Berto’s reply was enthusiastic, and we made plans to meet for coffee in Venice Beach. My conversation with this tall, thoughtful, naturally handsome young man with bright blue eyes could not have gone more easily, and quickly led to planning a visit to his studio, located at that time in Ventura.

A few days later, I drove up State Route 118—made famous by the band America’s song Ventura Highway. Berto’s studio was full of paintings, and I immediately saw that he was a careful, deliberate creative. In talking, I learned his vision had been developed by traveling the world, working as a muralist, practicing yoga and deep meditation, using plant-based therapies associated with indigenous tribes to strengthen his outlook, and, of course, developing his painting skills for years.

Berto creates a range of imagery, from the red-on-red painting that I had first seen to his graphic, abstract canvases suggestive of things we know, but cannot name, to his more realistic compositions featuring recognizable objects, faces, and animals, to outright-beautiful flower paintings. Binding these aspects together is stylistic integrity, emotional reserve, and spiritual presence. I am happy to report that in the brief time that Berto has shown with TEW Galleries, his art has touched our clients in the same way that first painting touched me.

With his studio currently in Santa Monica, Berto is setting up another one in Lisbon, Portugal, which will naturally encourage new creative developments. We recently received new art works from him and would love to share them with you. Please drop by or make an appointment to visit the gallery.

— Timothy Tew




Calling All Art Lovers!

Explore the City of Angels with Timothy Tew

I am organizing a trip for art collectors to Los Angles, May 17-22, 2023. We will visit four museums and tour the iconic modernist-style Stahl House, designed by architect Pierre Koenig. A highlight of the trip will be a private visit to Berto’s studio, but also prized visits to the studios of America Martin and Jonathan Ryan—another LA artist I want collectors to know about. As a member of the tour, you will meet the artists and have first-hand access to their art in the spaces where it is made. Accommodations are at the Pendry Hotel West Hollywood with its sweeping views across LA to the Hollywood Hills. For the trip to go forward, a minimum of 10 people are needed, but there is space for up to 16. Please contact me at if you are interested in pricing and additional details.