Published: February 28, 2018
As a fifth- generation Colorado native, Andrew Bermingham had the opportunity to spend much of his childhood outdoors, learning over time to identify patterns and rhythms in nature. Today, this appreciation for natural resources has not only led Andrew to be the CEO of a small energy consulting company, it has also sparked a passion for generating complex, geometric and mathematical designs which he has applied to making apparel as well as fine art. We sat down with him to learn about the sense of urgency with which he is attacking this new creative side of his life.
You seem like a bona fide "Renaissance Man" with many areas of interest: clean energy, fashion, art. Walk us through the intersection of these interests for you.
Andrew: Starting with energy, for almost three decades I've had the chance professionally to "see the world" via our company, Montreux Energy. We were founded in Switzerland in 1990 to organize energy investment conferences around the world. I had already worked on an oil rig in the North Sea for Denver-based Hamilton Brothers Oil when I was in college, because I really wanted to understand the extent we go to in order to find energy, and the challenges we have with converting that energy. It's sometimes an ugly process. I also became interested in how we store energy. That's a global challenge we would all love to be able to solve. So, this marrying of my energy background and my love of design comes at a really important time for me. On one hand, I feel old at 56. On the other hand, I feel like I am just getting going. I'm combining what I know about the energy world, and in particular the fast-growing field of hydrogen, with my desire to create designs that are really both art and science. They are forever interconnected.
How does your art "draw from your energy, engineering and math skills?"
Andrew: Working with bold repeating patterns allow you to create a sense of rhythm, and motion. It is something the eye is trained understand. I believe the eye is a barcode reader, and I'm out to create a new, unique kind of artistic barcode for our eyes to look at. In life, we are always trying to arrange things so the eye sees order. It's also fun arranging lines and shapes that are just slightly out of order, so as to catch your eye. I want to operate in a space where you aren't sure if your eye is agreeing and accepting or rejecting. As an artist, I love that.
So is your gallery name, BŌLDI, paying tribute to the "boldness" of your patterns?
Andrew: Several years ago, I stepped back a bit from the energy world so I could be more creative. I wanted a fantastic name and logo, of course, but I also wanted a name that had a timelessness and a global feeling about it. I wanted the entirety of the word "bold" in the name. BŌLDI took because it's five letter highly memorable URL. I created the logo to convey a strong design sense from the beginning. I think it helped me get the proper mindset for what I set out to do. If people smile and nod when you mention the word BŌLDI, and how you came to that name, you're in the right place.
Why did you choose to open the new BŌLDI Gallery in Cherry Creek North?
Andrew: I knew I had to be there. People probably think I am crazy to shoehorn a gallery on Detroit Street, right between Mario Di Leone and MAX, and yet, the future goes to risk takers. I love taking risks, I wouldn't be able to do a thing today without having taken many, many risks before. But I'd say opening BŌLDI wasn't a risk for me. It would be a risk not to do it. It's a risk if I keep my art from the world.
Is it scary delving into something that is such a departure from what you've done for the last three decades?
Andrew: I guess it's my age that makes me feel a heightened sense of urgency. Combine that with zero fear of failure. I've got so many ideas, and I feel in a way I am playing catch up, so there's really no time to be afraid. If I say I'm going to do something, it has to be meaningful and big and thoughtful and it's got to work. It can't just be a great idea. I feel like there's an enormous sense of mission in my life right now and I am truly grateful for it.
Prints, apparel, sculpture, etching…is there another dimension for the creativity in your designs beyond what we're seeing here?
Andrew: That's a great question. Industrial design. I am really excited about industrial design. I feel if there is going to be a serious new chapter in my life, it will be about building solutions that are beautiful, functional and cutting edge AND which solve real-world problems. Actually, I believe one of the first goals of designers should be health and lifestyle. We need to be designing with goals towards longevity. For example, the opportunity for the future of transportation is going to be really exciting for designers. We're moving into a cleaner, lighter, more electric world for transportation. We need technology and efficiency "user interfaces" that hopefully we can also enjoy. We have to go there. The world is waiting for hip and edgy - I would even say "sculptural"-solutions to life and all its challenges. People love great design, and frankly we need and deserve more of it than the world currently offers. That's what really excites me about the future: Design, creativity, problem-solving, engineering - all can come together. All great innovation starts with great design. We should all be passionate about that.
280 Detroit Street
Denver, CO 80206
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