Tom Berenz uses the disaster motif as a metaphor to discuss personal, socio-political, environmental and ideological issues in his large mixed media canvases. Through the motif of disaster, he explores the existential self and examines personal narratives, with some being more literal and others more enigmatic. The imagery is in constant flux, but always returns to a pile. “A pile is everything and it is nothing. It is a mound that once was and now isn’t; a mass of information, both physical and metaphysical, organized and chaotic.” Berenz is interested in blurring the lines between realism and abstraction, life and death, beauty and horror, devastation and the sublime.