Thea Berman

2023 - ongoing



Control and power are often discussed in the context of human relationships—  as a battle of egos, or exercised through implicit norms and oppressive structures. While fairness is nowhere near guaranteed, we imagine and idealize a utopia of equality. We see something common about the human experience at a base level: cellularity, corporeality, excrement. But power imbalance doesn’t just apply to human relationships. The objects we collect and surround ourselves with both reflect and act as the victimless subjects of our power.  Every t shirt isn’t just a t shirt; every lamp isn’t just a lamp. Every person unavoidably adorns their life with symbols, but when these symbols start to resemble personhood, the power dynamic is obfuscated.

Because of their uncanny resemblance to humans, the symbolic function of dolls is often misunderstood at a surface level. They allow us to perform or imagine scenarios unfit for polite society (for real people), but that doesn’t mean they are always the subject of our control. “The Soup” seeks to subvert the notion that what is inhuman, pristine, or cute is always powerless. To varying degrees, people perform as dolls, or at least perform a doll’s symbolic function, with one another. This work interrogates the perspective of the conventionally powerless and the covert control they are able to exercise. In other words, “The Soup” displays the power of topping from the bottom.

See “The Soup” published in Confluence



Thea Berman was born and raised in New York City. She is currently living in Berkeley, CA while she completes her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Califonia, Berkeley in May 2024.  

Recent Press

“Daycare” featured exclusively in Lets Stab Cesar!  Volume IV


CV & Artist Statement


Email: Instagram: @theaberman_